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E iszeita Iter und Gegenwart 
Quaternary Science Journal 











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Vol. 61 

No 2 

2012 



RIVERS, LAKES AND PEATLANDS [NE Germany] 

YOUNGER MIDDLE TERRACE, HOXTER/WESER [Germany] 

LAVRADO REGION, RORAIMA [Brazil] 

TERNA RIVER BASIN [India] 

KEMEL HEATH, SOUTHERN RHENISH MASSIF [Germany] 




Eiszeitalter und Gegenwart 
Quaternary Science Journal 



Volume 61 / Number 2 / 2012 / DQI: 10.3285/eg.61.2 / ISSN 0424-7116 / www.quaternary-science.net / Founded in 1951 



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E&G 



Quaternary Science Journal 

Volume 61 / Number 2 / 2012 / 103-132 / DOI lG.3285/eg.61.2.Dl 
www.quaternary-science.net 



GEOZON SCIENCE MEDIA 
ISSN 0424-7116 



Late Quaternary evolution of rivers, lakes and peatlands in 
northeast Germany reflecting past climatic and human impact 
- an overview 

Knut Kaiser, Sebastian Lorenz, Sonja Germer, Olaf Juschus, Mathias Kuster, Judy Libra, Oliver Bens, Reinhard F. Huttl 



How to cite: 



Abstract: 



Kurzfassung: 



Keywords: 



Kaiser, K., Lorenz, S., Germer, S., Juschus, O., Kuster, M., Libra, J., Bens, O. it Huttl, R. F. (2012): Late Quaternary evolution 
of rivers, lakes and peatlands in northeast Germany reflecting past climatic and human impact - an overview. - E&G Quaternary 
Science Journal, 61 (2): 103-132. DOI: 10.3285/eg.61.2.01 

Knowledge of regional palaeohydrology is essential for understanding current environmental issues, such as the causes of recent 
hydrologic changes, impacts of land use strategies and effectiveness of wetland restoration measures. Even the interpretation of 
model results on future impacts of climatic and land-cover changes may be improved using (pre-)historic analogies. An overview 
of palaeohydrologic findings of the last c. 20,000 years is given for northeast Germany with its glacial landscapes of different 
age. River development is examined with a focus on valley(-floor) formation and depositional changes, river course and channel 
changes, and palaeodischarge/-floods. Major genetic differences exist among 'old morainic' (Elsterian, Saalian) and 'young mo- 
rainic' (Weichselian) areas, and among topographically high- and low-lying valleys, the latter of which are strongly influenced by 
water-level changes in the North and Baltic Seas. Lake development was analysed with respect to lake formation, which was pre- 
dominantly driven by late Pleistocene to early Holocene dead-ice dynamics, and with respect to depositional changes. Furthermore, 
lake-level changes have been in the focus, showing highly variable local records with some conformity. The overview on peatland 
development concentrated on phases of mire formation and on long-term groundwater dynamics. Close relationships between 
the development of rivers, lakes and peatlands existed particularly during the late Holocene by complex paludification processes 
in large river valleys. Until the late Holocene, regional hydrology was predominantly driven by climatic, geomorphic and non- 
anthropogenic biotic factors. Since the late Medieval times, human activities have strongly influenced the drainage pattern and the 
water cycle, for instance, by damming of rivers and lakes, construction of channels and dikes, and peatland cultivation. Indeed, the 
natural changes caused by long-term climatic and geomorphic processes have been exceeded by impacts resulting from short-term 
human actions in the last c. 50 years as discharge regulation, hydromelioration and formation of artificial lakes. 

Die spatquartare Entwicklung von Flussen, Seen und Mooren in Nordostdeutschland als Spiegel klimatischer und anthro- 
pogener Einflusse - eine Ubersicht 

Die Kenntnis der regionalen Palaohydrologie ist eine wesentliche Grundlage fur das Verstandnis aktueller Umweltfragen, wie zum 
Beispiel nach den Griinden von hydrologischen Veranderungen, dem Einfluss von Landnutzungsstrategien und der Wirksamkeit 
von Renaturierungsvorhaben in Feuchtgebieten. Auch die Interpretation von Modellierungsergebnissen zu den kunftigen Einfliis- 
sen des Klima- und Landnutzungswandels auf das Gewassersystem kann durch die Einbeziehung (pra-) historischer Analogien 
verbessert werden. Fur das glazial gepragte nordostdeutsche Tiefland wurde eine Ubersicht der vorliegenden palaohydrologischen 
Befunde fur den Zeitraum der letzten etwa 20.000 Jahre erarbeitet. Die Entwicklung der Fliisse wurde mit Blick auf die Tal-/Auen- 
genese und das Ablagerungsmilieu, die Veranderung des Tal- und Gerinneverlaufs sowie den Palaoabfluss bzw. das Palaohochwass- 
er betrachtet. Wesentliche genetische Unterschiede bestehen zwischen Alt- (Elster- und Saalekaltzeit) und Jungmoranengebieten 
(Weichselkaltzeit) sowie zwischen hoch und tief gelegenen Talern. Letztere sind stark durch Wasserspiegelveranderungen in der 
Nord- und Ostsee beeinflusst worden. Die Entwicklung der Seen wurde hinsichtlich der Seebildung, die iiberwiegend eine Folge der 
spatpleistozanen bis friihholozanen Toteistieftau-Dynamik ist, und der Veranderungen im Ablagerungsmilieu analysiert. Weiterhin 
standen Seespiegelveranderungen im Fokus, wobei sich hoch variable lokale Befunde mit einigen Obereinstimmungen zeigten. Der 
Uberblick zur Moorentwicklung konzentrierte sich auf hydrogenetische Moorentwicklungsphasen und auf die langfristige Entwick- 
lung des Grundwasserspiegels. Enge Beziehungen zwischen der Entwicklung der Fliisse, Seen und Moore bestanden insbesondere 
im Spatholozan durch komplexe Vermoorungsprozesse in den groflen Flusstalern. Bis in das Spatholozan wurde die regionale 
Hydrologie iiberwiegend durch klimatische, geomorphologische und nicht-anthropogene biologische Faktoren gesteuert. Seit dem 
Spatmittelalter wurde in der Region das Gewassernetz und der Wasserkreislauf im starken Mali durch anthropogene Interventionen 
beeinflusst (z.B. Aufstau von Flussen und Seen, Bau von Kanalen und Deichen, Moorkultivierung). In den letzten etwa 50 Jahren 
haben dann sogar die kurzfristigen anthropogenen Eingriffe, z.B. in Form von Abflussregulierung, Hydromelioration und kiinstli- 
cher Seebildung, die Wirksamkeit langfristiger klimatischer und geomorphologischer Prozesse iibertroffen. 

palaeohydrology, valley formation, depositional change, lake- and groundwater-level fluctuation, mire, late Pleistocene, Holocene 



Addresses of authors: K. Kaiser', O. Bens, R. F. Huttl, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, D-14473 Potsdam, E-Mail: 
kaiserk@gfz-potsdam.de; S. Lorenz, M. Kuster, University of Greifswald, Institute of Geography and Geology, Friedrich-Ludwig- 
Jahn-Strafie 16, D-17487 Greifswald; S. Germer, J. Libra, Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam-Bornim, Max- 
Eyth-Allee 100, D-14469 Potsdam; O. Juschus, University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde, Faculty of Landscape Management and 
Nature Conservation, Alfred-Moller-Strafie 1, D-16225 Eberswalde;' corresponding author 



E&G /Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012/ 103-132/ DOI 10.3285/eg.61.2.01 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



103 



Contents 



104 1 Introduction 

107 2 Regional settings 

108 3 Principle research questions, concepts and 

methods used in regional studies 

110 4 Results and discussion 

110 4.1 Rivers 

110 4.1.1 River valley formation and depositional changes 

111 4.1.2 Changes in river courses and channels 

113 4.1.3 Palaeodischarge and palaeoflood characteristics 

114 4.2 Lakes 

115 4.2.1 Lake basin development 

115 4.2.1.1 Dead-ice dynamics 

116 4.2.1.2 Depositional changes 

117 4.2.2 Palaeohydrology 
117 4.2.2.1 Lake-level changes 

119 4.2.2.2 Lake-area and lake-contour changes 

119 4.3 Peatlands 

119 4.3.1 Peatland formation and groundwater-level 

changes 

119 4.3.1.1 General development 

119 4.3.1.2 Peatlands in large river valleys 

122 4.3.2 Human impact on peatlands and lakes by 

mill stowage 

123 5 Synopsis 

123 5.1 Impact of neotectonic processes 

123 5.2 Climate impact 

124 5.3 Pre-modern and modern human impact 

125 5.4 Final remarks and research perspectives 
125 6 Conclusions 

125 Acknowledgements 

126 References 



1 Introduction 



Global climate change causes regional and local variations 
in the terrestrial water balance (e.g. Tao et al. 2003, IPCC 
2007, Bates et al. 2008, Gerten et al. 2008, Kundzewicz 
et al. 2008, Huang et al. 2010), influencing the hydrologic, 
geomorphic and ecologic properties of the regional drain- 
age system comprised of flowing (rivers, streams) and stag- 
nant waters (lakes, ponds) as well as peatlands of varying di- 
mension. An aridification trend, for example, will inevitably 
cause a reduction (l) in the discharge of rivers by diminish- 
ing supply, (2) in the size of lakes by level lowering and (3) in 
the extension of peatlands by groundwater lowering. 

As hydrologic and climatic research in Europe shows, 
there are currently distinct changes in water balances with 
regionally differing trends (e.g. Lehner et al. 2006, BACC 
Author Team 2008, EEA 2009, Merz et al. 2012). In north- 
east Germany widely a 'drying' trend prevails, resulting in 
decreasing groundwater and lake levels as well as river dis- 
charges (e.g. Gerstengarbe et al. 2003, Kaiser et al. 2010, 
2012a, Germer et al. 2011). If this trend continues, a negative 
influence on ecosystem services, such as the provision of wa- 
ter for human use and wetland conservation, is to be feared. 

Undoubtedly, the knowledge of both historic hydrologic 
(last c. 1000 years) and palaeohydrologic developments can 
help us to understand the hydrologic system dynamics at 



present and even in the future (e.g. Branson et al. 1996, 
Gregory & Benito 2003, Brazdil et al, 2006, Gregory et 
al. 2006, Czymzik et al. 2010). In particular, the frequency 
and magnitude of short-term events, such as river floods and 
droughts, as well as long-term processes, such as lake-level 
fluctuations, changes in the river's mean annual discharge 
and its hydromorphologic status can be detected retrospec- 
tively (e.g. Petts et al. 1989, Berglund et al. 1996a, Har- 
rison et al. 1998, Brown 2002, Starkel 2005, Baker 2008, 
Battarbee 2010). Insights gained through such historic 
analogies can be used to improve the interpretation of mod- 
elled future impacts of climatic and land-cover changes and, 
hence, to develop and optimise adaptation strategies. Fur- 
thermore, information on the pre-modern ecologic status of 
aquatic landscapes is a precondition for developing restora- 
tion measures in accordance with the European Union Wa- 
ter Framework Directive (CEC 2000, Bennion & Battarbee 
2007, Zerbe ir Wiegleb 2009). 

In theory, palaeohydrology is concerned with all compo- 
nents of the hydrologic cycle. But in practice most research 
focuses on specific compartments, such as river channels and 
discharge, lake- and groundwater-level fluctuations, isotope 
chemistry, or on proxy indicators of past precipitation char- 
acteristics (Anthony & Wohl 1998, Gregory & Benito 
2003). Such knowledge on the palaeohydrology of temperate 
regions in the world is well-established. Particularly west- 
ern and central Europe have a long-standing research tra- 
dition (e.g. Starkel et al. 1991, Gregory 1995, Hagedorn 
1995, Vandenberghe 1995a, Starkel 2003, Macklin et al. 
2006, Hoffmann et al. 2008). However, stronger integration 
between the regional findings as well as with related disci- 
plines is necessary. 

In northeast Germany, there are well-structured scientific 
communities dealing with both present-day and future hy- 
drologic changes (investigated by hydrologists and climate 
impact researchers) as well as with palaeohydrology (inves- 
tigated by geoscientists and palaeoecologists). Unfortunate- 
ly joint investigations by both communities are lacking. In 
addition, existing palaeohydrologic knowledge is not suffi- 
ciently being considered in the interpretation of (pre-)recent 
hydrologic trends and prospective (modelling) purposes. Ob- 
stacles to the exploitation of hydrologic palaeo-data are the 
multitude of local case studies, and their prevailing publica- 
tion in German periodicals and monographs with a regional 
or national focus. Publications synthesising regional paleo- 
hydrologic results are rare. 

This overview offers access on the results of regional 
palaeohydrologic research over the last c. two decades. The 
consolidation of findings into one paper will hopefully foster 
the consideration of (pre-)historic hydrologic changes into 
the respective discussions, increasing the interpretational 
power for modelling results. This paper primarily focuses on 
the evolution of drainage systems during the last c. 20,000 
years, spanning the late Pleistocene and the Holocene ep- 
ochs. The long-term and partly interdependent development 
of the region's main aquatic inland environments - rivers, 
lakes and peatlands - will be outlined. For several specific 
issues (e.g. river valley formation, palaeodischarge charac- 
teristics, dead-ice dynamics, lake- and groundwater-level 
changes, peatland formation), the state-of-the-art will be re- 
ported. 



101 



E6G / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 103-132 / D0I 10.3285/eg.61.2.01 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 




20 40 60 80 100 km 



Fig. 1: Hydrography, main glacial structures and study areas/sites with palaeohydrologic findings in northeast Germany (map after BMUNR 2003, adapt- 
ed). The numbers refer to the study areas/sites presented (see Tab. 1). 

Abb. 1: Hydrografie, glaziale Hauptstrukturen (Marginalzonen) und Arbeitsgebiete/-orte mit palaohydrologischen Befunden in Nordostdeutschland 
(Karte nach BMUNR 2003, verdndert). Die Zahlen beziehen sich auf die vorgestellten Arbeitsgebiete/-orte (siehe Tab. 1). 



EBG / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 103-132 / DOI 10.3285/eg.61.2.01 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



105 



Tab. 1: Study areas and sites with palaeohydrologic findings in northeast Germany (see Fig. 1). 

Tab. 1: Arbeitsgebiete und -orte mit paldohydrologischen Befunden in Nordostdeutschland (siehe Abb. 1). 



No. 


Study area /site 


Research field 1 


References 


1 


Lake Pliiner See 


LB, LL, NT, GA, PL, PE 


Sirdcko et al. 2002, Dorfler 2009 


2 


Lower Spree River 


FM, PD, PE 


Schulz & Strahl 1997, Schulz 2000, Schonfelder & Steinberg 2004, Hilt 
etal. 2008 


3 


Leipzig-Halle area 


LB, LL, GA, PL, FM, PE, 
GG, HI 


Hiller et al. 1991, Mania et al. 1993, Wolf et al. 1994, Mdl 1995, 
Bottger et al. 1998, Fuhrmann 1999, Tinapp et al. 2000, 2008, Eissmann 
2002, Wennrich et al. 2005, Czegka et al. 2008 


4 


Lower Spree River, lower Spreewald 
area and Dahme River 


FM, LB, PE, GG 


Bottner 1999, Juschus 2002, 2003 


5 


Darss peninsula, Barthe River and 
Endinger Bruch basin 


LB, LL, GA, PL, FM, PT, 
CE, PE 


Kaiser 2001, 2004a, de Klerk 2002, Kaiser et al. 2000, 2006, 2007, 
Lampe2002, Lane etal. 2012 


6 


Elbe River N of Magdeburg 


FM, HI 


Rommel 1998 


7 


Lower Havel River, Elb-Havel-Winkel 
and Rhinluch/Havellandisches Luch 
areas 


PT, GG, PE, GA, LL, GW, 

PL, HI 


Mondel et al. 1983, Kloss 1987a, 1987b, Mundel 1995, 1996, 2002, 
Schelski 1997, Kuster & Potsch 1998, Rowinsky & Rotter 1999, Godermann 
2000, Mathews 2000, Zeitz 2001, Gramsch 2000, Kaffke 2002, Weisse 
2003, Schonfelder & Steinberg 2004 


8 


Berlin area 


LB, LL, GW, GA, PL, FM, 
PE, GG, PT, HI 


Bose & Brande 1986, 2009, Pachor & Roper 1987, Brande 1986, 1988, 
1996, Gartner 1993, Schich 1994, Uhlemann 1994, Varlemann 2002, 
Grunert 2003, Kossler 2010, Neugebaoer et al. 2012 


9 


Lake Muritz 


LL, PL, PE, HI 


Kaiser 1998, Kaiser et al. 2002, Ruchhoft 2002, Lampe et al. 2009 


10 


Lake Plauer See 


LL, GA, HI 


Ruchhoft 2002, Bleile et al. 2006, Bleile 2008 


11 


Nossentiner/Schwinzer Heide area 


LB, LL, PE, PL, FM, HI 


Schmidtchen et al. 2003, Lorenz 2003, Rother 2003, Hiibener & Dorfler 
2004, Lorenz & Schult 2004, Kaiser et al. 2007, Lorenz 2007, 2008, 
Lorenz etal. 2010 


12 


Low-lying river valleys of 
Vorpommern [e.g. Recknitz, Peene 
and Uecker River] 


FM, LB, LL, GW, PE, GG, 
CE, PT, GA, HI 


Kaiser & Janke 1998, Helbig 1999, Kaiser et al. 2000, 2003, Michaelis 
2000, Schatz 2000, Helbig & de Klerk 2002, Janke 2002, 2004, de Klerk 
2004, Kaiser 2004b, Berg 2005, Krienke et al. 2006, Michaelis & Joosten 
2010, Jantzen et al. 2011, Kuster et al. 2011 


13 


Upper Spreewald and Cottbus areas 


FM, GA, GG, PE, PT, HI 


Kuhner et al. 1999, Neubauer-Saurer 1999, Rolland & Arnold 2002, 
Woithe 2003, Poppschotz & Strahl 2004, Brande et al. 2007 


14 


Headwaters of Havel River 


LB, LL, PE, PL, FM, HI 


Kaiser & Zimmermann 1994, Kuster 2009, Kuster & Kaiser 2010, Kuster et 
al. 2012 


15 


Lower Elbe River at Lenzen 


FM, HI, GA 


Schwartz 1999, Schatz 2011 


16 


Lower Oder River, Oderbruch area, 
Stettiner Haff [Szczecin Lagoon], 
Eberswalder Urstromtal [spillway] 


FM, GG, PL, PE, CE, PT, 
PD, HI 


Dobracka 1983, Brose 1994, 1998, Schlaak et al. 2003, Borowka et al. 

2005, Carls 2005, Dalchow & Kiesel 2005, Schlaak 2005, Lotze et al. 

2006, BOrner2007 


17 


Potsdam area, Havel and Nuthe 
Rivers 


LB, GW, PL, FM, PE, GG, 
PT, HI 


Rowinsky 1995, Weisse et al. 2001, Wolters 2002, 2005, Hickisch 2004, 
Hickisch & Pazolt 2005, Luder et al. 2006, Kirilova et al. 2009, Enters et 
al. 2010 


18 


Biesenthal Basin, upper Finow 
Stream 


LB, PE, GG 


Chrdbok & Nitz 1987, 1995, Nitz et al. 1995 


19 


Schlaube Stream 


PL, LB, PE 


Schonfelder et al. 1999, Brose 2000, Giesecke 2000 


20 


Kersdorfer Rinne [tunnel valley] 


LB, GG, PE 


Schulz & Brose 2000, Schulz & Strahl 2001 


21 


Wische area [lower Elbe River] 


FM 


Caspers 2000 


22 


Lake Arendsee 


PL, PE, HI 


Scharf 1998, Scharf et al. 2009 


23 


Lake Stechlinsee, Upper Rhin River 


LB, FM, PL, PE 


Gartner 2007, Brande 2003, Kaiser et al. 2007 


24 


Rugen Island and adjacent coastal 
and land areas 


LB, GW, NT, GA, PL, PE, 
GG, PE, GG, CE, PT 


Kliewe 1989, Strahl & Keding 1996, Helbig 1999, de Klerk et al. 2001, 
Krienke 2003, Verse 2003, Hoffmann & Barnasch 2005, Hoffmann et al. 
2005, de Klerk et al. 2008a, 2008b, Kossler & Strahl 2011 


25 


Weisser Schops River [Reichwalde 
area] 


FM, PT, GW, GA, PE 


Friedrich et al. 2001, van der Kroft et al. 2002 


26 


Upper Spree River [Nochten/Scheibe 
area] 


FM, GG 


Mol 1997, Mol et al. 2000, Hiller et al. 2004 


27 


Usedom Island 


LB, NT, PL, PE, GG, CE 


Helbig 1999, Hoffmann et al. 2005 


28 


Poel Island and adjacent coastal and 
land areas 


CE, NT, PE, GA, CE 


Lampe etal. 2005, 2010 


29 


Jeetzel River 


FM, PE, GA 


Turner 2012 


30 


Schorfheide area 


LB, PE, PT 


Schlaak 1997, Stegmann 2005, van der Linden et al. 2008 



1 LB = Lake-basin formation, LL = Lake level, GW = Groundwater level, NT = Neotectonic, GA = Geoarchaeology, PL = Palaeolimnology, FM = Fluvial 
geomorphology / valley formation, PD = Palaeodischarge, PE = Palaeoecology, GG = Glacial geomorphology / geology, CE = Coastal evolution, PT = 
Peatland evolution, HI = Human impact on inland waters 



106 



E&G / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 103-132 / DOI 10.3285/eg.61.2.Dl / © Aulhors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



Chronology 


Phases of river valley genesis 

[Marcinek 8- Brose 1972] 


Phases of (lake-) basin genesis 

[Nitz1984] 


Late Holocene 

[0-4 kyrs BP] 


Holocene phase influenced by man 

['Anthropogen beeinflusste, ho/ozone 
Phase 'J 

• strong human influence on the drainage 
system by channels, weirs, hydro 
amelioration and agriculture 




Colluvial phase 

f'Ko//uviumsphase'J 

• man-induced filling up 
of smaller depressions 
by colluvial sediments 
[hillwash] 


Mid-Holocene 

[4-8 kyrs BP] 


Natural Holocene phase 

['Naturlich ho/ozone Phose'J 

• weak fluvial erosion and accumulation 


Aggradation phase 

f'Verlandungsphose'J 

• filling up of lake basins 
gyttja and peat 


by sedimentation of 


Early Holocene, 
Lateglacial 

[8-13 kyrs BP] 


Lateglacial Early Holocene transitional 
phase 

['Spatglazial-altholozane Ubergangsphase'J 

• reversals of flow direction 

• partly formation of interior drainage 

• melting of stagnant ice / lake formation 

• decay of permafrost 


Deep melting phase 

f'Ti'eftauphase'J 

• melting of stagnant ice, formation of [lake] 
basins 

• decay of permafrost 


Late Pleniglacial 

[20-13 kyrs BP] 


Fluvial periglacial phase 

[Tluvioperiglaziare Phase'] 

• formation of a hierarchic river system on 
permafrost 


Conservation phase 

f'Konserv/erungsphose'J 

• conservation of stagnant ice by permafrost 

• sedimentation of periglacial lacustrine, fluvial 
and aeolian deposits 


Late Pleniglacial 

[>20-14kyrsBP] 


Fluvioglacial Phase 

[Tluvioglaziare Phase'] 

• initial ice-marginal drainage, later ice- 
radial drainage 

• outwash plain formation 


Ice-melting phase 

['Niedertauphase'] 

• inclusion / burial of stagnant ice by sediments 


Formation phase 

f'Anlogephose'J 

• formation of depressions by ice exaration and 
glaciofluvial erosion 



Tab. 2: Conceptual 
models of late Quater- 
nary river valley and 
lake basin development 
in northeast Germany. 
Adapted and modi- 
fied from Marcinek & 
Brose (1972) and Nitz 
(1984). 

Tab. 2: Konzeptionelle 
Modelle der spdtquar- 
tdren Flusstal- und 
Seebeckenentwicklung 
in Nordostdeutschland 
(nach Marcinek & 
Brose 1972 und Brose 
1984, verandert). 



2 Regional settings 



The region northeast Germany is part of the North European 
Plain, which is bounded by the coasts of the North Sea and 
Baltic Sea to the north and the German Central Uplands to 
the south. The surface relief (<200 m a.s.l.) varies from flat to 
undulating. Several Quaternary glaciations of Scandinavian 
ice sheets, subsequent periglacial shaping and interglacial 
processes have formed this area. A multitude of ice termi- 
nal zones of the Saalian and Weichselian glaciations traverse 
the region and reflect the glaciation/deglaciation (Fig. 1). The 
complex glacial and interglacial processes produced a mosa- 
ic of glacial, fluvial, lacustrine, colluvial, marine and aeolian 
landforms and sediments. 



The Weichselian glacial belt ('young morainic area') cov- 
ers the northern area and comprises landscapes with an im- 
mature river system that developed following the last degla- 
ciation (c. 24,000-17,000 cal yrs BP; Bose 2005, Luthgens 
if Bose 2011). River valleys in that belt are characterised by 
frequently alternating degradational (erosion) and aggra- 
dational (accumulation) river stretches, by frequent shifts 
in direction, by the common presence of lake basins (partly 
within the valley floors) and by frequent areas with inte- 
rior drainage. By contrast, the river system of the Elsterian 
(c. >330 kyrs) and Saalian belts (c. >125 kyrs; 'old morainic 
areas') is maturated. Major rivers in the region are the Elbe 
and Oder which drain northeast Germany into the North Sea 
and the Baltic Sea, respectively. These rivers are character- 



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107 



X 




J Large peatland 
I — I Large river flood plain 
J (Elbe and Oder River) 

National border 

100 km 



t, Ml ><PW 






-Fig. 2: Distribution of large peatlands and large river floodplains (A) as well of thermoclimatic zones (B) in northeast Germany (after BGR 2007, IfL 2008, 
adapted). 

Abb. 2: Verbreitung grofier Moorgebiete und grofier Flussauen (A) sowie thermoklimatischer Zonen (B) in Nordostdeutschland (nach BGR 2007, IfL 2008, 
verdndert). 



ised by present-day mean annual discharges in a range of 
500-700 m 3 s~\ Several tributaries exist; the most important 
are the Saale, Havel, Mulde, Spree and Peene (20-120 m 3 s" 1 ; 
BMUNR 2003). A mainly east-west-oriented network of ca- 
nals used for inland navigation connects the rivers. 

The Weichselian belt is characterised by the occurrence 
of numerous lakes of different size and of different genetic, 
hydrologic and ecologic type. According to estimations from 
the adjacent Polish young morainic area, only one-third to 
half of the former lakes from the late Pleistocene to early 
Holocene have remained due to aggradation caused by natu- 
ral and anthropogenic processes (Starkel 2003). By contrast, 
only a few natural lakes in the Saalian belt occur, but several 
artificial lakes originating from river damming and lignite 
opencast mining exist. In northeast Germany the total area 
of natural lakes amounts to c. 1300 km 2 (Korczynski et al. 
2005). In general, the region's natural lakes largely repre- 
sent 'hollows' located in the first unconfined aquifer. Thus 
groundwater and lake hydrology are closely connected. 

In addition, a large area of the region (c. 5800 km 2 ) is cov- 
ered by peatlands. This term refers to all kinds of drained or 
undrained areas with a minimal thickness of peat of at least 
several decimetres (Joosten 2008). Peatlands primarily occur 



in river valleys and large basins in the Federal States of Meck- 
lenburg-Vorpommern (2930 km 2 ) and Brandenburg/Berlin 
(2220 km 2 ; Fig. 2A). Smaller areas are distributed in the low- 
land parts of Sachsen-Anhalt (580 km 2 ) and Sachsen (70 km 2 ). 
Groundwater-fed peatlands dominate with c. 99 % versus only 
1 % rain-fed peatlands (Couwenberg &r Joosten 2001). 

The present-day climate of the region (Hendl 1994) is 
classified as temperate humid with mean annual air temper- 
atures around 8-9 °C and mean annual precipitation rang- 
ing from 773 mm a " J (Hamburg) to 565 mm a" 1 (Cottbus). 
A distinct thermoclimatic gradient exists from northwest to 
southeast, dividing the region into maritime, sub-maritime 
and sub-continental parts with decreasing precipitation (Fig. 
2B). The driest sites are located at the Saale (Halle/S.) and 
Oder Rivers (Frankfurt/O.) with a mean annual precipitation 
of about 450 mm a" 1 . 

3 Principle research questions, concepts and methods 
used in regional studies 

The main disciplines providing regional palaeohydrologic 
knowledge (Fig. 1, Tab. 1) are geomorphology, Quaternary 
geology, palaeobotany and historical sciences. The prin- 



108 



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Tab. 3: Fades areas of Holocene river valley development in northeast Germany considering geographic location, river valley dimension and valley history 
(Brose & Prager 1983, adapted). 

Tab. 3: Faziesgebiete der holozanen Flusstalentwicklung in Nordostdeutschland unter Beriicksichtigung der Lage, der Flusstaldimension und der Talge- 
schichte (nach Brose & Prager 1983, verdndert). 



Zone 


Facies area 


Example [river] 


Selected genetic properties 


Comparing conclusions 
[cross-zonal] 


1 


periglacial valley 


Saale, Mulde 


■ state of equilibrium between erosion 


■ as most river valleys 




bottoms in the German 


[middle 


and aggradation in the early Holocene 


[facies zones] are only 




Uplands 


reaches] 


■ deposition of gravel during Atlantic 
frequently burying oak stems 

■ late Holocene deposition of flood 
loams and/or erosion 


initially investigated, 
comparing conclu- 
sions are partly of 
preliminary status 
■ after the retreat of 


II 


valley bottoms in the 


Elster, Unstrut 


■ erosional phase in the early Holocene 




loess belt 




with subsequent deposition of gravel, 
sand and topping overbankfines 

■ mid-Holocene hiatus [soil formation] 

■ late Holocene deposition mainly of 
flood loams 


the Weichselian ice 
sheet an erosional 
phase took place 
[Lateglacial] affecting 
the large river valleys 
up to the uplands 
■ erosion / aggradation 
in northern valleys is 
mainly controlled by 
water-level changes 
in the Baltic Sea and 


Ilia 


valley bottoms in the old 
morainic area between 
Weichselian maximum 
and loess belt 


Spree, Neitee 

[middle 

reaches] 


■ similar depositional history as in zone II 


lib 


valley bottoms in the 


Havel, Dosse, 


■ frequent occurrence of fluvial 




young morainic area 


Spree [lower 


connections of basins [river-lake- 


North Sea basins. 




between Weichselian 
maximum and 
Pomeranian stage 


reaches] 


structures] 
■ erosion / aggradation depending from 
river bed changes of Elbe and Oder 
[zone IVa] 


whereas southern 
valleys are controlled 
by climatic and [in 
the late Holocene] by 
human impact 


IVa 


valley bottoms of 


Elbe, Oder 


■ erosional phases during [Pre-?]B0iling 




large transzonal rivers 




[lower Oder] and early Holocene [Elbe] 


■ widespread deposition 




occupying several facies 




■ early to mid-Holocene deposition of 


of organic sediments 




areas 




gravels and sands [Elbe] and mainly of 
peat [lower Oder] 
■ late Holocene deposition of overbank 
fines 


[peat, gyttja] and soil 
formation characte- 
rises the Atlantic and 
Subboreal 
■ areal deposition of 


IVb 


valley bottoms of 


Peene, Warnow 


■ erosional phases during [Pre-?]B0l- 




tributaries of the 




ling, Preboreal and late Boreal 


human-induced 




Baltic Sea north of the 




■ flattening of the river bed gradient by 


flood loams is a 




Weichselian Pomeranian 




organic sedimentation in the Atlantic/ 


characteristic of the 




stage 




Subboreal caused by marine influence 
[Littorina transgression] 
■ dominating deposition of peat and 
gyttja instead of overbank fines in the 
late Holocene 


late Holocene except 
in low-lying valleys of 
zone IVb 



ciple research questions - some of which have been posed 
periodically for more than 100 years (e.g. Woldstedt 1956, 
Marcinek 1987, Kaiser 2002) - concern (l) the structure and 
formation of the natural drainage system, (2) its anthropo- 
genic use and historic reshaping, and (3) the (palaeo-) eco- 
logic status and change. More specific research questions in 
relation to the single aquatic environments investigated - 
rivers, lakes and peatlands - are given in chapters 4.1, 4.2 
and 4.3. 

Corresponding to different thematic approaches, the re- 
search concepts used come from different disciplines. Both 
geosciences and palaeoecology use climatologic- and bio- 
stratigraphic concepts and units. They are defined for divid- 
ing and explaining stages of deposition, relief formation and 
biotic changes, respectively. More specifically, the general 
model for the regional late Quaternary relief formation with 
emphasis on fluvial geomorphology, proposed by Marcinek 
if Brose (1972) and extended to incorporate the develop- 
ment of lake basins (Nitz 1984), has been adapted for use in 
this overview (Tab. 2). Additionally, the conceptualised re- 
gional facies areas of Holocene river development by Brose 



<}? Prager (1983) will be outlined (Tab. 3). These models and 
schemes provided the thematic framework for most of the 
later geomorphic and palaeohydrologic research. However, 
they base on relatively few local field studies only and gen- 
erally lack sufficient numeric age control. 

Archaeology, as a discipline of the historic sciences, has 
concentrated on the settlement and human use of aquat- 
ic landscapes in pre-Medieval (i.e. 'pre-German') times, 
thought to be a period with little human impact on the 
aquatic environment (e.g. Bleile 2012). History and historic 
geography have dealt with strong human impact on the re- 
gional drainage system since Medieval times (e.g. Schich 
1994, Driescher 2003, Blackbourn 2006). 

Corresponding to the disciplines involved, the results pre- 
sented are based upon a broad range of geoscientific (includ- 
ing geochronology), biological (palaeoecology) and historic 
methods. The basic geoscientific methods used include the 
analysis of thousands of sedimentary profiles from corings 
as well as open sections, geomorphic mapping of fluvial and 
lacustrine structures, sedimentologic analyses and geophys- 
ics. Geochronology provides absolute chronologic control 



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109 



30 



20 



Ta 10 



-10 



-20 



-30 



-40 




Age ( 14 C kyrs BP) 
10 8 



B- 



2 Recent 



V 



Late 
Pleisto- 
cene 



Preboreal- 



Atlantic- 
Subboreal- 



•'Allerad Boreal 



(expanded in B) 



H o I o c e n e 



u 

B0lling 



Floodplain level of Oder River 

after Brose (1994) 

--*-- after Bo rner (2007) 



Age ("C kyrs BP) 



B 



3.0 


2.5 2.0 1.5 


1.0 0.5 


Subboreal 


Subatlantic 


VIM 


IX 


| Xa | Xb 


Bronze Age 


| pre-Roman | Roman | Migration- 


Mediaeval 


Iron Age Period Period 




„ 






I** ' ' 


****** X 


/ 




■ i .* » 


/ 










,* 


— Floodplain level 

— Water level at floodplain 
(after Brose 1994) 











Chronozone 
Pollenzone 
Culture period 



Fig. 3: Changes in the floodplain level 
of the lower Oder River. A: General 
development during the late Pleis- 
tocene and Holocene (after Brose 
1994, Borner 2007, adapted). B: 
Detailed development during the late 
Holocene (after Brose 1994, adapted). 

Abb. 3: Veranderungen des Auen- 
niveaus der unteren Oder. A: Ge- 
nerelle Entwicklung wahrend des 
Spatpleistozans und Holozdns (nach 
Brose 1994, Borner 2007, verandert). 
B: Detaillierte Entwicklung wahrend 
des Spdtholozdns (nach Brose 1994, 
verandert). 



comprising radiocarbon dating and, at a progressive rate, lu- 
minescence dating (mostly OSL). Normally, the chronology 
in this overview is based on calibrated radiocarbon ages (cal 
yrs BP). But, depending on the context, some other chrono- 
logic systems were also used (e.g. yrs BC, yrs AD, 14 C yrs BP, 
varve yrs BP). The most important biological method applied 
is pollen analysis providing both stratigraphic (thus to a cer- 
tain degree even chronologic) information and palaeoecolog- 
ic data (e.g. on vegetation structure, groundwater situation, 
human impact). Regional knowledge of the historic sciences 
is mainly based on archaeological excavations including find 
matter analysis, and interpretation of historic public records 
(documents) and maps. The latter are not available earlier 
than the 16 th century AD. 

4 Results and discussion 
4.1 Rivers 

In general, subjects of research on regional river evolution 
have been mainly (glacio-) fluvial geology and geomorpho- 
logy (e.g. change of river course, river bottom incision/aggra- 
dation, valley mire formation), and palaeoecology, particu- 
larly analysing sedimentary archives in river valleys for veg- 
etation and water trophic level reconstruction. It is only in 
recent years that quantitative estimations of palaeodischarge 
were attempted for some rivers (Elbe, Oder and Spree), us- 



ing palaeoecologic, climatic and hydraulic data. The follow- 
ing overview on river and valley development concentrates 
on the aspects (1) river valley formation and depositional 
changes, (2) changes in the river courses and channels, and 
(3) palaeodischarge and palaeofloods. 

4.1.1 River valley formation and depositional changes 

The backbone of the regional river network has been a sys- 
tem of glacial spillways (ice-marginal valleys). These spill- 
ways worked as southeast-northwest oriented drainage fol- 
lowing the retreat of the Weichselian ice sheet, except for the 
southernmost spillways, which originated from the previous 
Saalian glaciation. The valleys were operating from c. 26,000 
to 17,000 cal yrs BP, partly initiated by the glacier blocking 
of northwards, i.e. to the North Sea and Baltic Sea basins, 
flowing rivers (Marcinek if Seifert 1995). The general sub- 
glacial and subaerial drainage of the ice sheet to the south 
led to connections of these spillways via lower-scale valleys. 
After glaciers decay, unblocking of the terrain often has initi- 
ated flow reversals (e.g. Kaiser et al. 2007, Lorenz 2008). In 
parallel, several short-lived ice-dammed (proglacial) lakes of 
different dimension developed; some of them of vast extent 
(see chapter 4.2.1.2) 

A striking geomorphic property of the young morainic ar- 
ea is the existence of numerous so-called (open) 'tunnel val- 



110 



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leys' (glacial channels), containing rivers and streams as well 
as lakes and peatlands. Additionally, buried tunnel valleys of 
similar dimension occur both in the young and old morainic 
area (Eissmann 2002). The valleys were mainly eroded by 
meltwater supposed to have drained from subglacial lakes. 
Their water was most likely released in repeated outburst 
floods (so-called 'jokulhlaups') and flowed in relatively small 
channels on the floors of the tunnel valleys (Piotrowski 
1997, J0RGENSEN & Sandersen 2006). 

Knowledge on late Quaternary river development is very 
irregularly available in the region (Fig. 1, Tab. l). The re- 
gion's main river, the Elbe, has been recently only margin- 
ally in the (geo-) historic focus (e.g. Rommel 1998, Caspers 
2000, Thieke, 2002, Turner 2012), in further contrast to oth- 
er large central European rivers, such as Vistula and Rhine 
(Schirmer et al. 2005, Starkel et al. 2006). 

A characteristic of low-lying valleys in the northern part 
of the study area, comprising the lower sections of the Elbe 
and Oder Rivers as well as the Vorpommern rivers (e.g. Ueck- 
er, Peene, Trebel, Recknitz; Fig. 1), is the hydraulic depend- 
ency of valley bottom processes from water-level changes in 
the North Sea and Baltic Sea basins and from isostatic move- 
ments. In general, a rise in the water level in the sea basins 
causes a lower hydraulic river bed gradient, whereas a water 
level fall leads to the opposite. This strongly influences sev- 
eral processes in the river and its floodplain (e.g. transport, 
flooding, sedimentation/erosion, vegetation). The Oder River 
and some Vorpommern rivers were extensively investigated 
in this respect. In the Lateglacial and early Holocene marked 
valley bottom changes were caused by lake-level changes of 
ice-dammed lakes in the Baltic Sea basin (Fig. 3). The mid- to 
late Holocene sea-level rise (Lampe 2005, Behre 2007, Lampe 
et al. 2010) triggered a large-scale formation of peatlands 
(mostly of percolation mires), temporally even the drown- 
ing of lower valley sections (e.g. Brose 1994, Janke 2002, 
Borner 2007, Michaelis if Joosten 2010). Thus, in contrast 
to river valleys of the higher-lying glacial landscape and the 
German Uplands, which are mainly filled by minerogenic 
deposits (gravels, sands, flood loams), peat widely fills the 
present valleys (Fig. 4). 

Most regional studies have noticed that Holocene river 
bottom development up to the late Atlantic/early Subbore- 
al is exclusively controlled by climatic and (natural-) geo- 
morphic as well as biotic processes, such as fluvial erosion/ 
aggradation and beaver damming. By contrast, Neolithic 
and subsequent economies, regionally starting in the south 
c. 7300 cal yrs BP (Tinapp et al. 2008) and in the north c. 
6100 cal yrs BP (Latalowa 1992), considerably changed the 
vegetation structure, water budget and geomorphic process- 
es of the catchments. Erosional processes, following forest 
clearing and accompanying agricultural use, increased the 
suspended load of rivers causing deposition of flood loams 
(overbank fines, Auelehm' in German) during flood events. 
Accordingly, a larger number of flood loams date from the 
late Atlantic (e.g. Hiller et al. 1991, Mundel 1996, Caspers 
2000). Moreover, there is a multitude of flood loam records 
dating from the Subboreal and Subatlantic (e.g. Fuhrmann 
1999, Borner 2007, Brande et al. 2007, Kaiser et al. 2007, 
Tinapp et al. 2008). 

As shown by palaeo-flood indicators, human-induced 
changes in the catchment hydrology led to an increase in the 



frequency and magnitude of floods in the late Holocene (see 
chapter 4.1.3). The river valley bottoms shifted from quasi- 
stable to unstable conditions (Schirmer 1995, Kalicki 1996, 
Starkel et al. 2006, Hoffmann et al. 2008). More frequent 
and heavy floods caused both an intensification of river bed 
erosion and an aggradation of the valley bottom and level- 
ling of its relief differences. 

1.1.2 Changes in river courses and channels 

In general, rivers can change their course by leaving their old 
valley or by formation of a new channel within their hith- 
erto existing valley. Rivers can be forced to leave old valleys 
through tectonics, retrograde erosion or glacier damming. 
The accordant timescale mostly is a few to hundreds thou- 
sands of years (in phase with climatic evolution). Smaller 
changes in the channel pattern ('fluvial style') lead to new 
river beds within existing valleys, which are predominantly 
initiated by climate-driven changes of drainage (frequency, 
magnitude), erosion and bedload. This spans a timescale of 
tens to hundreds of years (in phase with climatic changes; 
Vandenberghe 1995b). 

Of the regional rivers, only the Elbe has been investigated 
for changes in its course. In the Tertiary to mid-Pleistocene, 
large-scale river course changes (lateral river bed deviation 
of max. c. 150 km) occurred due to tectonic processes and to 
river damming triggered by glaciations. It was not until the 
end of the Saalian that its present course was substantially 
formed (e.g. Thieke 2002). Small-scale river course chang- 
es (max. c. 25 km) occurred in the Elbe-Havel River region 
('Elb-Havel-WinkeP in German) still in historic times (early 
18 th century AD), when the river, caused by strong floods, 
was following older courses in the deeper lying Havel Riv- 
er valley (Schmidt 2000). Finally, evidence for river chan- 
nel changes (max. c. 5 km) is available for the river section 
between Magdeburg and Wittenberge, showing that the 
present-day single channel river was a Holocene anastomo- 
sing system in this section up to the mid-18 lh century AD 
(Rommel 1998, Caspers 2000). 

A few records are available on channel pattern changes in 
the region (Fig. 5). The mean present-day annual discharge 
of accordant rivers, however, varies extremely (0.3 to 550 m 3 
s' 1 ). Six types of channel patterns were identified (braiding, 
meandering with large and small meanders, anastomosing, 
V-shape valleys/straight course, and inundation/valley mire 
formation). The type formed depends on several hydrau- 
lic parameters (bed gradient, load, flow velocity, discharge 
volume and temporal distribution; Miall 1996). In the late 
Pleniglacial and early Lateglacial all rivers investigated 
were braided systems caused by high load and strongly epi- 
sodic discharge after heavy snow melting under periglacial 
conditions (e.g. Mol 1997). An incision phase took place in 
the early Lateglacial, when the regional erosion base in the 
Baltic Sea and North Sea basins was low or when the local 
erosion base was lowered by dead-ice melting. The (early) 
Lateglacial is characterised by the formation of so-called 
large meanders, which are attributed to short-term high dis- 
charges following extreme snow melting (Vandenberghe 
1995a). For the Spree River, a distinct radius downsizing of 
sequenced meander generations was postulated (large me- 
anders: 900-1000 m, small meanders: 600-900 m, recent me- 



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111 




N\\\\\\\\^ 



_* *. 

T ^ er ^^ • Strong erosion 

and incision 

ffXTo • Discharge direction 
-±> NW 

7sf phase = glaciofluvial spillway (pre-W3) 



\\\w\\\\\\w\\\\* p \\\\\\\w\\\\\v 
1 8,000-17,000 calyrsBP "" 




v \ \ \ \ \ 

>^ \ \ \ \ \ 
\> \ \ \ \ 

f \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ 

•. \ \ \ \ \ 



mm 



m_: 




2nd phase = glaciation (W3) 




17,000-16,500 calyrsBP 




Strong erosion 
und solifluction 

• Discharge dir. NW 

• Terrace formation 

• Erosion of till 



3rd phase = glaciofluvial spillway (post-W3) 




Strong incision 

Discharge dir. NE 
(up to present) 



4th phase = Lateglacial incision 




• Increasing 
water levels 

• Dead-ice melting 
and lake formation 

• Deposition of fluvial 
and lacustr. deposits 



5th phase = Lateglacial aggradation 





Valley bottom 
rise by peat 
deposition 
Frequent changes 
of the river course, 
floods, formation 
of oxbow lakes 



7th phase = groundwater rise (paludification) 



• Incision and later on 
deposition of fluvial 
sands 

• Dep. of calcareous 
gyttjas in lakes 



6th phase = early Holocene incision 




Reduced peat 
formation, partly 
stratigraphic hiatus 



8th phase = groundwater lowering 




Increasing 
water input 
by deforest- 
ation of 
catchments 
Deposition of 
hillwash 

Extensive grass- 
land agriculture 



9th phase = moderate human impact 




• Complex hydro- 
melioration 
Intensive agriculture 
Degradation of peat 



10th phase = strong human impact 



| | Older sediments Q Glacier ice, QTTJ Till 

dead ice 

pTH] Fluviolacustrine sand || Peat Q Calcareous 
and silt, silikate gyttja gyttja 



fcv] Glaciofluvial and f^5 Coarse glaciofluvial and colluvial 

-lacustrine sediments sediments 

UlTTl Fine colluvial sediments 



Fig. 4: Model of the geomorphic development of low-lying river valleys in Vorpommern (after Kaiser 2001, Janke 2002, adapted); a schematic geologic 
cross-section through a river valley is depicted. The term 'W3' used for phases 1-3 refers to the late Pleniglacial inland-ice advance of the Mecklenburgian 
Phase (Weichselian3/W3)', which is approximately dated by radiocarbon data from the Pomeranian Bay, southern Baltic Sea (Gorsdorf & Kaiser 2001). 

Abb. 4: Modell der geologisch-geomorphologischen Entwicklung tiefliegender Flusstaler in Vorpommern (nach Kaiser 2001, Janke 2002, verandert). Dar- 
gestellt ist ein schematischer geologischer Schnitt durch ein Flusstal. Der Begriff „W3", genutzt fur die Talentwicklungsphasen 1-3, bezieht sich aufden 
spdtpleniglazialen Inlandeisvorstofi der Mecklenburger Phase (Weichsel3/W3). Dieser Eisvorstofi ist naherungsweise durch Radiokohlenstoffdaten aus der 
Pommerschen Bucht/siidliche Ostsee datiert (Gorsdorf & Kaiser 2001). 



112 



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Late Pleistocene 



Early t Mid- 
Holo- ; Holo- 
cene • cene 



' Late Holocene 



Elbe 

(Wische area) 



Vorpommern 
rivers 

Lower Oder 

(Niederes Oder- 
bruch area) 

Spree 

(Drahendorf area) 

Spree 

(Unterspreewald 
area) 

WeiRer Schops 



Caspers (2000) 



V^MTW WWM ^ E <2002) 



-gLn/WtA 



V V ? NJ/ V 



BORNER(2007) 



J^JfV^W^^ SCHULZ(2000) 



^%m/ > L4W v/ VK^ z ^yg 




JUSCHUS (2003) 



VAN DER KROFT 

et al. (2002) 



Jeetzel River ^S\ ? UA^\/A|V V/ V^/ V 0/ V/ lA0/^ TuRNER < 2012 



Chronozone 
Age (cal yrs BP) 



PL ME 



D1 B0 



D2 AL 



D3 PB 



BO AT1 



AT2 SB 



SA1 SA2 



14500 13730 13350 11560 9220 5660 1150 

13860 13480 12700 10640 7500 2400 



Braiding 
Anastomosing 





B 



Meandering - 
large meanders 

Straight course 

(incision) 



V 



Meandering - 
small meanders 

Inundation, 
peatland formation 



Fig. 5: Late Pleistocene and 
Holocene channel pattern changes 
in river valleys in northeast 
Germany (after various authors, 
adapted). Note missing data or 
questionable records are indicated 
by question marks. 

Abb. 5: Spdtpleistozdne und holo- 
zane Veranderungen der Gerinne- 
bettmuster in Flusstalern Nordost- 
deutschlands (nach verschiedenen 
Autoren, verandert). Fehlende 
Daten oder fragliche Befunde sind 
mit Fragezeichen gekennzeichnet. 



anders: 150-300 m; Schulz 2000), which generally indicates 
decreasing (seasonal) discharge volumes. Beginning in the 
late mid-Holocene but strengthened in the late Holocene, 
some low-lying river sections were temporarily inundated 
and were generally transformed into peatlands (e.g. lower 
Oder River and some Vorpommern rivers). 

In the last c. 800 years, human impact has considerably 
changed both the fioodplain structures and courses of re- 
gional rivers by deforestation, artificial river-bed remov- 
ing and strengthening as well as dyking, settlement and in- 
frastructure construction (e.g. Schich 1994, Schmidt 2000, 
Driescher 2003). For example, a dense network of canals 
for inland navigation has been built, beginning in the 16 th 
century AD and culminating in the late 19 lh to early 20 th cen- 
tury AD (Uhlemann 1994, Eckoldt 1998), in addition to the 
construction of innumerable drainage ditches. 

1.1.3 Palaeodischarge and palaeoflood characteristics 

Quantitative estimations of palaeohydrologic parameters for 
rivers usually aim at describing palaeodischarge (mean an- 
nual discharge, bankfull discharge) and palaeoflood charac- 
teristics (magnitude, frequency, risk; e.g. Gregory & Benito 
2003, Benito & Thorndycraft 2005). Whereas in the adja- 
cent Polish territory, palaeodischarge and palaeoflood stud- 
ies were performed quite early (e.g. Rotnicki 1991, Starkel 
2003), corresponding studies for northeast Germany are gen- 
erally rare and of more recent status. 

One recent study of the Elbe River mouth (German Bight, 



North Sea) produced a high resolution 800-year-long proxy 
record of palaeodischarge, based on a 8 18 0-salinity-discharge 
relationship (Scheurle et al. 2005; Tab. 4). The reconstructed 
variance of mean annual discharge (MAD), revealing a min- 
imum-maximum span of 100-1375 m 3 s ', is linked to long- 
term changes in precipitation. Four main periods of palaeo- 
discharge/palaeoprecipitation become apparent, with higher 
and lower values than at present. 

For the lower Oder River, a coupled climatic-hydrolog- 
ic model estimated MADs for the early and mid-Holocene 
similar to those of today (Ward et al. 2007; Tab. 4). These 
modelling results coincide with local palaeohydrologic data 
from the Prosna River (a tributary of the Oder via the Warta 
in Poland; Rotnicki 1991), which show that discharges there 
in the early and mid-Holocene were broadly similar to those 
in the period 1750-2000 AD. 

For the Spree River, late Holocene palaeomeanders were 
investigated (Hilt et al. 2008). Reconstructions show nar- 
rower and shallower channels for the undisturbed lower 
Spree as compared to recent conditions, which are strongly 
influenced by mining drainage water input (Grunewald 
2008). Flow velocities and discharge at bankfull stage (Tab. 4) 
were smaller in palaeochannels and flow variability was 
higher. Furthermore, the increase in bankfull discharge was 
attributed to deforestation and drainage of the catchment as 
well as channelisation, bank protection and river regulation 
measures. 

For the joint area of Vorpommern and northeast Branden- 
burg, Bork et al. (1998) estimated a regional water balance 



EBG / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 103-132 / D0I 10.3285/eg.61.2.01 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



113 



Tab. 4: Holocene palaeodischarge estimations for Elbe, Oder and Spree Rivers after Scheurle et al. (2005), Ward et ah (2007) and Hilt et ah (2008), 
respectively. 

Tab. 4: Abschatzungen der holozanen Paldoabftiisse fur die Elbe (Scheurle et ah 2005), die Oder (Ward et ah 2007) and die Spree (Hilt et ah 2008). 



River 


Elbe 


Oder 


Spree 


Gauging site 


Neu Darchau 
[upstream of Hamburg] 


Gozdowice 

[downstream of Frankfurt/Oder] 


Neubruck 

[downstream of Cottbus] 


Recent discharge 

[m 3 s 1 ] 


720 [100 %f 


527 [100 %Y 


52 [100 %) 2 


Gauging period 


1900-1995 


1901-1986 


present 


Approach used 


proxy record of palaeodischarge 
using a 6 1B 0-salinity-discharge 
relationship 


coupled climatic-hydrologic model 


proxy record of bankfull palaeo-dis- 
charge using hydraulic properties of 
palaeomeanders 


Palaeodischarge 

[m 3 s 1 ] 


1300 AD: 800 [111 %f 
1400 AD: 900 [125 7c] 1 
1500 AD: 700 [97 %f 
1800 AD: 500 [69 %f 
1700 AD: 1000 [139 %f 
1800 AD: 900 [125 7c] 1 
1900 AD: 500 [69 %f 
Max. c. 1580 AD: 1375 [191 %f 
Min. c. 1260 AD: 100 [14 7c] 1 


early Holocene [9000-8650 cal yrs 
BP]: 522 [99 7c] 1 

mid-Holocene [6200-5850 cal yrs 
BP]: 538 [102 7c] 1 


late Subboreal-early Subatlantic [3200- 
2500 cal yrs BP]: 8 [15 %] 2 


Reference 


Scheurle etal. [2005] 


Ward et al. [2007] 


Hilt etal. [2008] 



x mean annual discharge 
? bankfull discharge 



for the time steps 650 AD, 1310 AD and today, which shows 
a maximum discharge value for the late Medieval period. 
This was caused by the lowest amount of forested areas (thus 
relatively low amounts of evapotranspiration and intercep- 
tion) during the late Holocene (Tab. 5). 

Data on palaeoflood characteristics in the region are pri- 
marily available for the Elbe (BrAzdil et al. 1999, Glaser 
2001, Mudelsee et al. 2003), Oder (Glaser 2001, Mudelsee 
et al. 2003) and Spree Rivers (Rolland & Arnold 2002). Spo- 
radic historical records start in the 11 th century AD, while 
more continuous records are not available until the 16 th cen- 
tury AD. As an example, for the Elbe River Mudelsee et 
al. (2003) detected significant long-term changes in flood oc- 
currence rates from the 16 th to the 19 th century AD. A first 
maximum in the flooding rate was reached in the mid- 16 th 
century AD. At this time, rivers in central and southwest Eu- 
rope experienced a similar increase in floods, which has been 
attributed to higher precipitation (Brazdil et al. 1999). Lat- 
er on winter floods reached an absolute maximum (around 
1850 AD) and then finally decreased. Mudelsee et al. (2003) 
concluded by means of statistical correlations for the Elbe 
and Oder Rivers that reductions in river length, construction 
of reservoirs and deforestation have had only minor effects 
on flood frequency. Furthermore, they arrived at the conclu- 
sion that there is no evidence from both historic data and 
modern gauging for a recent upward trend in the flood oc- 
currence rate (in this context see Petrow & Merz 2009). This 
represents an important regional finding with respect to the 
current debate on regional hydrologic changes initiated by 
global climate change, emphasising the importance of tem- 
porally long hydrologic data series. 



4.2 Lakes 



In general, lake basins ubiquitously provide sedimentary ar- 
chives from which both the local and to a certain extent even 
the regional landscape development can be reconstructed. 

The lake basins in the northern part of the region (Meck- 
lenburg-Vorpommern) were formerly classified by size as 
'large glaciolacustrine basins' (former proglacial lakes, >100 
km 2 ), 'medium-sized lakes' (0.03-100 km 2 ), and 'kettle holes' 
(<0.03 km 2 ; Kaiser 2001, Terberger et al. 2004). Although 
designed for a specific area, this classification by size can 
also be applied for the whole morainic area, additionally 
taking into account some local characteristics. Regional re- 
search on lake genesis performed so far mainly concentrated 
on (l) lake basin development (e.g. dead-ice dynamics and 
depositional changes) and on (2) palaeohydrology (lake-level 
and lake-area changes). Both aspects will be presented in the 
following. 



4.2.1 Lake basin development 
4.2.1.1 Dead-ice dynamics 



Most of the medium- and small-sized lake basins in the 
Weichselian glacial belt originated from melting of buried 
stagnant ice, usually called 'dead ice' (e.g. Nitz et al. 1995, 
Bose 1995, Juschus 2003, Niewiarowski 2003, Kaiser 2004a, 
Lorenz 2007, Blaszkiewicz 2010, 2011). This term refers to 
the temporary local conservation/incorporation of ice in de- 
pressions and/or in sedimentary sequences; either coming 
from the freezing of pre-existing water bodies (e.g. shallow 
lakes) before being overridden by glacier ice or as a direct 
remnant from the glacier. Glacially- and melt water-driven 



111 



E6G / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 103-132 / D0I 10.3285/eg.61.2.01 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



Tab. 5: Estimation of the water balance for the northern part of northeast Germany considering the Vorpommern and Uckermark areas (after Bork et al. 
1998, adapted). 

Tab. 5: Abschdtzung der Wasserbilanz fur den nordlichen Ted von Nordostdeutschland (Vorpommern und Uckermark; nach Bork et al. 1998, verandert). 



Time step 


650 AD 


1310 AD 


Present 


Land cover parameter 


km 2 


% 


km ? 


% 


km 2 


% 


Total area 


10000 


100 


10000 


100 


10000 


100 


Arable land and grassland 


100 


1 


7900 


79 


6800 


68 


Forest [including uncultivated land] 


9400 


94 


1500 


15 


2400 


24 


Surface waters 


500 


5 


500 


5 


500 


5 


Other areas 


<100 


<1 


100 


1 


300 


3 


Hydrological parameter 


mm a" 1 


% 


mm a^ 1 


% 


mm a" 1 


% 


Mean annual precipitation 


595 1 


100 


595 1 


100 


595 


100 


Total runoff 


40 


7 


140 


24 


120 


20 


Surface runoff 


<1 





10 


2 


3 


<1 


Subterraneous runoff 


2 


<1 


5 


1 


4 


<1 


Mean evapotranspiration and interception 


555 


93 


455 


76 


475 


80 



Assumed as today 



erosive processes produced variously formed depressions 
(wide basins, channels, kettle holes), which were filled by 
dead ice during the glacier's decay. After the melting of these 
ice 'plombs', water-filled basins of varying size could ap- 
pear, depending on the local hydrologic situation. Between 
dead-ice formation/burial and dead-ice melting, thousands 
of years, occasionally tens of thousands of years passed by. 
In contrast, the rare present-day natural lakes in the Saalian 
belt owe their existence mainly to local endogenic processes 
triggered by the dynamics of Zechstein salt deposits in the 
deep underground. 

Dead-ice dynamics can be sedimentologically detected 
either by dislocation of sediment layers or by unusual suc- 
cession of certain sediments. In the region, the first was re- 
peatedly demonstrated by the record of heavily tilted peats 
and gyttjas (e.g. Kopczynska-Lamparska et al. 1984, Nitz 
et al. 1995, Strahl if Keding 1996, Kaiser 2001). The lat- 
ter is normally attributed to the occurrence of basal peats 
below gyttjas, partly below a present-day water body of sev- 
eral decametres thickness (e.g. Kaiser 2001, Blaszkiewicz 
2010, 2011). 

Subsequent to the melting of dead ice in the basins and 
valleys, swamps/mires and lakes began to occupy the de- 
pressions. For parts of the study area, overviews on this on- 
set of lacustrine sedimentation in medium-sized lakes and 
kettle holes are available (Kaiser 2001, 2004b, Brande 2003, 
de Klerk 2008). According to Kaiser (2001), in about 90 % of 
the lake basins compiled for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and 
northern Brandenburg (total profile number analysed = 99) 
the process of sedimentation began in the Lateglacial, 38 % 
alone in the Allered (Fig. 6). 

In general, basin-forming dead-ice melting processes 
occurred from the Pleniglacial up to the early Holocene, 



with a concentration in the Allered. Final dead-ice melt- 
ing was assumed or reported for the Preboreal (e.g. Bose 
1995, Niewiarowski 2003, Blaszkiewicz 2010, 2011). Over 
a third of the profiles analysed for Figure 6 include basal 
peats mainly from the Allered, which ended regularly in a 
secondary position due to settling as the result of dead-ice 
melting. 

1.2.1.2 Depositional changes 

The deposition of fine silicate clastic gyttjas is characteristic 
for the cold Lateglacial stages. Peats and gyttja deposits rich 
in carbonates and organic matter mainly originate from the 
relatively warm Allered. The dominant minerogenous input 
during the Lateglacial is caused by a very thin vegetation 
cover and an unstable overall relief (ablation, deflation, gul- 
ly erosion, dead-ice melting, braiding). Besides basal peats 
from the Allered, higher-lying peats of the same age buried 
by lacustrine and fluvial sands occur. They indicate a signifi- 
cant intensification of lacustrine and fluvial deposition dur- 
ing the subsequent Younger Dryas, which has been recog- 
nised throughout northeast Germany, triggered by renewed 
cold-climate conditions (e.g. Helbig if de Klerk 2002, Kai- 
ser 2004b, de Klerk 2008). Although the increase in fluvial 
and erosional dynamics during the Pleistocene-Holocene 
transition constitutes a more general trend throughout the 
region, on an individual basis, some sedimentary records 
show that changes occurred rapidly and were often triggered 
by local relief instabilities and small scale catastrophic drain- 
age events (e.g. Kaiser 2004a). 

Sedimentation of organic and calcareous gyttja as well 
as peat generally characterises the Holocene. This is mainly 
due to a reduction in clastic input following a dense veg- 



EBG / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 103-132 / D0I 10.3285/eg.61.2.01 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



115 



40- 

U3 


Start of sedimentation 


30 - 


Start of peat formation 


O 

c 

CD 

CT 30- 


CD 

P 




Late ] 




Late 
Pleisto- 






c 

CD 

-. — H o 1 o c e n e §■ 




PI e i s to - ► ] 

c e n e j 


- 


— H o 1 o c e n e 


CD 


cene 






CD 
CO 

CD 


20 - 












Number of lacustri 

D o O 


B 


I 


ii 


N lakes = 60 1 
M =33 ° 

IN kettle holes TO 

M— 
O 

1— 

CD 
-Q 

Ib. I 


10 - 


^ 


I 


. 


I 


N |ak es = 57 

N kettle holes ~~ 

ll.ll.l 


Chronozones: D1 B0 D2 AL D3 PB BO AT1 AT2 SB SA1 SA2SA3 




D1 B0 D2 AL D3 PB BO AT1 AT2 SB SA1 SA2 SA3 


Palynozones: la lb Ic II III IV V VI VII VIM IX Xa Xb 




la Ib Ic II III IV V VI VII VIII IX Xa Xb 


■ Medium-sized lake basins, 0.3-100 km 2 






I I Small-sized lake basins (kettle holes), <0.3 km 2 







Fig. 6: Onset of lacustrine sedimentation (left) and peat formation (right) in lake basins of northeast Germany (areas of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and 
northern Brandenburg; after Kaiser 2001, adapted). 

Abb. 6: Beginn der limnischen Sedimentation (links) und der Torfbildung (rechts) in Seebecken in Nordostdeutschland (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern und 
nordliches Brandenburg; nach Kaiser 2001, verandert). 



etation cover and a reduced geomorphic activity. In parallel 
the lake bioproduction increased. Deposition of gyttjas and, 
to a lesser degree, of fluvio-deltaic sequences filled shallow 
lacustrine basins. The common occurrence of fluvio-deltaic 
sequences, called (palaeo-) fan-deltas or Gilbert-type deltas 
(Postma 1990), in dead-ice depressions represents a previ- 
ously undescribed geomorphic feature in the Weichselian 
glacial belt of northeast Germany (Kaiser et al. 2007), which 
corresponds to fan-deltas described from northwest Poland 
(Blaszkiewicz 2010). 

Peat accumulation causing (natural) aggradation of lakes 
became a widespread regional phenomenon during the 
mid- to late Holocene. Commencing in the Subboreal and 
increasingly during the Subatlantic, human impact led to 
noticeable effects on the lake development. Increases in la- 
custrine sedimentation rates and clastic matter influxes since 
c. 1250 AD are evidence of erosion following forest clear- 
ing and systematic land use including anthropogenic lake- 
level changes and lake drainages (e.g. Brande 2003, Lorenz 
2007, Selig et al. 2007, Enters et al. 2010). In the late 19 th 
century AD, but enormously strengthened in the mid-20 th 
century, human induced eutrophication by nutrient loading 
through agriculture, industry, sewage release, and soil ero- 
sion became a major threat to regional lakes (e.g. Scharf 
1998, Mathes et al. 2003, Luder et al. 2006). This eutrophica- 
tion, partly in conjunction with human- and climate-driven 
hydrologic processes (e.g. Germer et al. 2011, Kaiser et al. 
2012b), caused both depositional and hydrographic changes 
(increasing deposition rates, formation of anoxic sediments, 
partly shrinkage of lakes by aggradation). 

The former vast ice-dammed (proglacial) lakes at the Bal- 
tic Sea coast underwent, in comparison to the medium- and 
small-sized inland lakes described above, a different devel- 
opment during the late Pleistocene and Holocene (Fig. l). 
These late Pleniglacial lakes received water both from the 
melting inland-ice in the north and the stagnant (non-bur- 



ied) ice in the immediate lake surroundings as well as from 
the ice-free area in the south. The largest lakes reconstructed 
are the 'Haffstausee' (c. 1200 km 2 ; Janke 2002, Borowka et 
al. 2005) in the vicinity of Szczecin and the 'Rostocker Heide- 
Altdarss-Barther Heide-Becken' (>700 km 2 ; Kaiser 2001) in 
the vicinity of Rostock. During deglaciation around 17,000 
cal yrs BP, up to 25 m-thick glaciolacustrine sediments 
(clays, silts, sands) were accumulated. Local littoral gyttjas 
and aeolian sands dated to the Lateglacial have been found, 
indicating the end of the large-lake phase still within the 
Pleniglacial due to the decay of the basin margins consisting 
of ice (Kaiser 2001). For the Allerod and the early Young- 
er Dryas, soils, peats, littoral gyttjas and Final Palaeolithic 
archaeological sites indicate widely dry conditions in these 
basins, in which only local lakes and ponds existed. In the 
late Younger Dryas, over large areas the basin sands were 
re-deposited by wind. The Holocene, on the one hand, is ter- 
restrial, or locally also lacustrine, fluvial and boggy in form 
(e.g. Bogen et al. 2003, Terberger et al. 2004, Borowka et 
al. 2005, Kaiser et al. 2006, Borner et al. 2011). On the other 
hand, the lower parts of the glaciolacustrine basins came un- 
der marine influence, thereby becoming integrated into the 
Baltic Sea or the coastal lagoons (Lampe 2005, Borowka et 
al. 2005, Lampe et al. 2010) 

4.2.2 Palaeohydrology 
4.2.2.1 Lake-level changes 

In general, lake-level records offer an important palaeohy- 
drologic proxy as they can document past changes in the 
local to regional water budget in relation to climatic oscil- 
lations. Lake levels are influenced by climatic parameters 
affecting both evaporation and precipitation. But they can 
also be influenced by a variety of local, non-climatic factors 
such as local damming of the outflow by geomorphic pro- 
cesses and vegetation, animals (beaver) and man, or by land- 



116 



E6G / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 103-132 / D0I 10.3285/eg.61.2.01 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 









Age ("C kyrs BP) 










12.6 12 11 


10 


9 8 7 6 


5 


4 3 


2 


1 


4- 


i 






I III 


I 


I I 


1 


I 


-4 








I I I I 


I 


I I I 


1 


I 


1 3 " 
> 

Z 2- 


» + \ + 
\\+ 1 + / 


\ 


\PI6 
\ + 


+ -+ + „ + 
/ - Dre 

+ ! + + + 


+ 
+ 


+ + + 

Rhi ,.-• 


i-**"' 

+ 




-3 
-2 


m 

T3 

§ 1 " 

O 
en 

i o 

C 



-1- 

E 
o 

I " 2 " 

"> 



a -3- 


End wvl +y/l 


\ 


r--A 


I Lat 

4} / ..-"" F "^'\"~^N 


X 


\ + /' + + 


,--H , 


<M 


- 1 
-0 
--1 

- -2 
--3 






_- 1 




?' *■' 




+ \ \s 

+ Vl- 
+ + \ 


+ 

+ 
+ 




\ ! A + + / //+ \ 


+ 


! 


+ 
+ 


L-"\j 




" "V- — ■ — T + 

+ + + 


+ *'— -£•'' /+ + 


+ 


+ 




Mur 


\ 




.--''"' /Kra 












-4- 


+ + 


+ 


Hr- 


*+ y + + 


+ 


+ + + 


+ 


+ 


--4 






















15 14 13 


12 


11 


10 9 8 7 


6 


5 4 3 


2 


1 










Age (cal kyrs BP) 














PL 


ME 


B0 


AL 


D3 


PB 


BO 


AT 


SB 


SA 






D1 D2 






Chronozone 












Open / drained lakes 






Closed / not drained lakes 




Groundwater 






Miiritz (Mur) 






Krummer See (Km) 




Rhinluch (Rhi) 






Krakower See (Kra) 







Drewitzer See (Dre) 










Ploner See (PI6) 

















Endinger Bruch (End) 

















Latzigsee (Lat) 

















Fig. 7: Reconstruction of late Quaternary lake levels from northeast Germany (Lake Miiritz: Kaiser et al. 2002, Lampe et al. 2009; Lake Endinger Bruch: 
Kaiser 2004a; Lake Latzigsee: Kaiser et al. 2003, Kaiser 2004b; Lake Krakower See: Lorenz 2007; Lake Grofier Ploner See: Dorfler 2009; Lake Krummer 
See: Kuster 2009). Additionally the reconstruction of the groundwater level in the Rhinluch peatland is shown (Gramsch 2002). All curves are adapted. 

Abb. 7: Rekonstruktion spdtquartarer Seespiegel in Nordostdeutschland (Miiritz: Kaiser et al. 2002, Lampe et al. 2009; Endinger Bruch: Kaiser 2004a; 
Latzigsee: Kaiser et al. 2003, Kaiser 2004b; Krakower See: Lorenz 2007; Grofier Ploner See: Dorfler 2009; Krummer See: Kuster 2009). Ergdnzend wird 
die Rekonstruktion des Grundwasserspiegels fur das Rhinluch abgebildet (Gramsch 2002). Alle Kurven sind verandert. 



cover changes in the catchment area influencing runoff and 
groundwater recharge (e.g. Gaillard & Digerfeldt 1990, 
Digerfeldt 1998, Duck et al. 1998, Harrison et al. 1998, 
Magny 2004). 

Long-term ('continuous') records on the regional lake- 
level dynamics are available almost exclusively for the 
young morainic area north of Berlin. These records have 
been synthesised and are shown in Figure 7. Some further 
lake-level records that exist for the region have several con- 
straints (e.g. coarse resolution, comparative only, temporally 
very fragmented, very synthetic/tentative; e.g. Brande 1996, 
Bottger et al. 1998, van der Kroft et al. 2002, Wennrich 
et al. 2005). 

The records shown in Figure 7 span different time seg- 
ments (i.e. chronozones) over the last 15,000 years. The man- 
ner of reconstructing past lake levels varied in the investi- 
gations (e.g. using subaquatic peats, lacustrine terraces and 
beach ridges, subaquatic wood remains and archaeological 
sites, historic documents), so the levels are based on data 
with different precision. The original records are referenced 
to absolute topographic levels (m a.s.L), whereas the synop- 
tic presentation in Figure 7 uses the (relative) deviation from 



the recent lake level for better comparison. Generally, the 
records available have a relatively low resolution, compris- 
ing often only one data point per chronozone. Thus the lake- 
level curves actually represent links of discrete data points, 
not continuous records. Consequently, far more (short-term) 
lake-level fluctuations can be expected than suggested by 
these curves. Despite these constraints, however, some gen- 
eral trends can be derived: 

In the Pleniglacial and in parts of the Lateglacial, all lakes 
investigated had distinctly higher levels than at present. This 
was initially caused by deglaciation processes occurring at 
higher terrain levels, and later on caused by several geomor- 
phic processes specific to the Pleistocene-Holocene transi- 
tion, such as dead-ice melting, phased initiation of fluvial 
runoff and permafrost dynamics. After a distinct lowering 
in the early Holocene, lake-levels in one portion of lakes re- 
mained below present levels until the late Holocene, accom- 
panied by fluctuations. Another portion of lakes shows tem- 
porally higher Holocene lake levels than at present. Com- 
mon to all lakes, however, are the sudden and large changes 
in levels, initially positive, later on negative, that occurred in 
the late Holocene, after c. 1250 AD. 



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117 



Lake Miiritz (Kaiser et al. 2002) 


1 1 


Pre boreal 


V//A 


Late Atlantic, late Subatlantic 






\ : ' : '\ 


After 1300 AD 


s 


Around 1786 AD 


s 1 1 


Present lake 






kH 


River, channel, stream 


> \aw.\ 


Town 
J) 














Lake Arendsee (Scharf et al. 2009) 



Profundal 



Littoral 



Present D A. \ Town 



2 km 
i 1 




c. 11,000 BC 



c. 5000 BC 



c. 2500 BC 



before 822 AD 



after 822 AD 



after 1685 AD 



Fig. 8: Reconstruction of late Pleistocene and Holocene lake contours from northeast Germany. A: Lake Krakower See (Lorenz 2007). B: Lake Miiritz 
(Kaiser et al. 2002). C: Lake Arendsee (Scharf et al. 2009). All subfigures are adapted. 

Abb. 8: Rekonstruktion spatpleistozaner und holozdner Seeflachen in Nordostdeutschland. A: Krakower See (Lorenz 2007). B: Miiritz (Kaiser et al. 2002). 
C: Arendsee (Scharf et al. 2009). 



More specific, distinct phases of relatively low and rela- 
tively high lake levels can be deduced for the young morain- 
ic area (Fig. 7). Low lake levels in the Allerad and high lake 
levels in parts of the Younger Dryas were repeatedly detected 
(e.g. Helbig if de Klerk 2002, Kaiser 2004a, Lorenz 2007), 
which can be explained by climatic and geomorphic changes 
in that time. During the Allerod a moderate warm climate, 
forest vegetation and dominant dead-ice melting prevailed. 
The Younger Dryas, in contrast, was characterised by a cold 
climate with regional reestablishment of permafrost condi- 
tions, tundra vegetation and enhancement of surficial drain- 
age. Similar observations have been made for the Baltic Sea 
near-coastal regions of Poland and Sweden (Berglund et al. 
1996b, Ralska-Jasiewiczowa if Latalowa 1996). The early 
Holocene (Preboreal, Boreal) is widely characterised by low 
lake levels that can be ascribed to climatic warming and a 



fully forested landscape, as well as final dead-ice melting 
and intensification of erosive fluvial processes. In that time 
all lakes presented reached their Holocene minimum, partly 
lying 5-7 m below the present lake level (e.g. Lorenz 2007). 
In the mid-Holocene warm-wet Atlantic period the lakes ini- 
tially rose, despite the fact that forests had their Holocene 
maximum extent and vigour (Lang 1994), potentially lead- 
ing to high evapotranspiration rates in the lake catchments. 
This is in contrast to north Polish findings where predomi- 
nantly low lake levels during the Atlantic have been detect- 
ed (Starkel 2003). After the decreases in levels during the 
late Atlantic and Subboreal, some, partly strong, undulations 
took place in the Subatlantic (e.g. Kaiser et al. 2002, Lampe 
et al. 2009). The last c. 800 years saw almost identical dynam- 
ics, with increases in lake levels in the 13 th - 14 th century AD 
(partly up to the 17 th -18 ,h century AD) and decreases in the 



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18 th - 19 th century AD. These changes are primarily caused by 
man, who became a major factor in lake hydrology due to 
the construction of mill and fish weirs, drainage improve- 
ment, canal construction and forest clearing (e.g. Jeschke 
1990, Schich 1994, Kaiser 1996, Bork et al. 1998, Driescher 
2003, Lorenz 2007, Kuster if Kaiser 2010). 

4. 2.2.2 Lake-area and lake-contour changes 

The late Quaternary lake-level changes caused to some ex- 
tent drastic changes in the lake topography (volume, area, 
contour). However, only a few areal calculations and topo- 
graphic (map) reconstructions exists for the region so far, 
showing that the lake areas and contours varied substantial- 
ly (Fig. 8). For example, Lake Miiritz, with a current area of 
117 km 2 (100 %), varied from a minimum area of c. 74 km 2 (63 
%) in the Preboreal to a maximum area of c. 188 km 2 (161 %) 
in the beginning of the 14 th century AD (Kaiser et al. 2002). 

4.3 Peatlands 

Analogously to rivers and lakes, peatlands can also act as late 
Quaternary palaeohydrologic archives primarily indicating 
groundwater dynamics (e.g. Chambers 1996). Knowledge on 
their contribution, function, stratigraphy and development 
in northeast Germany is well-developed with an increasing 
number of studies and publications in the last c. 20 years 
(Succow if Joosten 2001). The following overview offers (l) 
a presentation of generalised phases of regional peatland for- 
mation and information on long-term groundwater dynam- 
ics, (2) the identification of genetic relationships between 
rivers, lakes and peatlands, and (3) an outline of the impact 
of historic mill stowage on peatlands and lakes. 

4.3.1 Peatland formation and groundwater- level 

changes 
4.3.1.1 General development 

In central Europe, eight hydrogenetic mire types - mires are 
undrained virgin peatlands (Koster if Favier 2005, Joos- 
ten 2008) - can be distinguished (Succow if Joosten 2001). 
They are defined by the topographic situation, the hydrolog- 
ic conditions (water input) and the processes by which the 
peat is formed. This hydrogenetic setting is of great impor- 
tance in deciphering (palaeo-) hydrologic information. 

A statistical analysis of 168 palynostratigraphically in- 
vestigated profiles from peatlands in northeast Germany re- 
veals distinct periods of specific hydrogenetic mire forma- 
tion (Couwenberg et al. 2001; Fig. 9). With a maximum age 
of c. 12,400 14 C yrs BP (c. 14,600 cal yrs BP), swamp mires are 
the oldest peat-forming systems in the region. The first lake 
mires developed still in the Lateglacial at c. 11,500 14 C yrs BP 
(c. 13,400 cal yrs BP), whereas first kettle-hole and percola- 
tion mires did not develop until the early Holocene. The first 
rain-fed mire development started as recently as in the mid- 
Holocene at c. 7500 14 C yrs BP (c. 8300 cal yrs BP). Partly, 
this temporal sequence reflects a stratigraphic succession of 
different mire types at the same location. The comparatively 
late increase and onset of percolation mire and rain-fed mire 
formation could reflect the mid- to late Holocene increase 
of regional humidity. Furthermore, there is a conspicuous 



peaking for the formation of some mire types in Figure 9, 
partly followed by a rapid decline. Between c. 1000-500 
yrs BP, swamp mires show a maximum formation period, 
which was attributed to strong anthropogenic deforestation 
(e.g. Brande 1986, Jeschke 1990, Bork et al. 1998, Wolters 
2005). The declining number of kettle-hole, percolation and 
rain-fed mires in the last 1000 to 2000 yrs, on the other hand, 
reflects direct human impact in the form of hydro-meliora- 
tion measures and peat cutting. This caused the cessation of 
peat formation and the disappearance of older peat layers. 

In contrast to the numerous pollen diagrams from peat- 
lands and accordant estimations of the local relative ground- 
water dynamics, only two curves of absolute groundwater 
levels exist so far for northeast Germany. For the Reichwal- 
de lignite open cast mine (Niederlausitz area), a short-term 
curve covers the Lateglacial B0lling to Allered chronozones, 
i.e. a total of c. 1400 years, showing the development from 
a relatively stable low to an instable high groundwater level 
(van der Kroft et al. 2002). The Holocene groundwater dy- 
namics derived from the c. 11,500 years-long synthetic Rhin- 
luch peatland record (west of Berlin) reveal a low level at 
the end of the early Holocene, an increasing level accompa- 
nied by fluctuations during the mid-Holocene and a maxi- 
mum level in the late Subatlantic (Gramsch 2002; Fig. 7). A 
marked decrease of the groundwater level of c. 3 m occurred 
in the very late Subatlantic (18 th -19 lh century AD), which 
was caused by local hydro-melioration measures (e.g. Zeitz 
2001). 

4.3.1.2 Peatlands in large river valleys 

Close relationships between the development of rivers, lakes 
and peatlands existed particularly during the late Holocene 
complex paludification processes in large river valleys of the 
region. They are caused, on the one hand, by natural climatic 
and hydraulic changes and, on the other hand, by direct an- 
thropogenic impact in the form of mill stowage (for the sec- 
ond see chapter 4.3.2). 

The largest peatlands in the region are located in former 
ice marginal spillways of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg- 
Vorpommern. Beside local lake mires and widely-stretched 
(but typically small) floodplain mires accompanying the 
abundant rivers, vast swamp (paludification) mires occur. 

The Havellandisches Luch (c. 300 km 2 ) and Rhinluch (c. 
230 km 2 ) peatlands, for instance, form wide elongated de- 
pressions which were formed by glaciofluvial and glacial 
erosional processes during the Weichselian glaciation and by 
(glacio-) fluvial processes during deglaciation and afterwards 
(Weisse 2003). After a Pleniglacial fluvio-lacustrine phase 
leading to the deposition of vast amounts of sands ('Beck- 
ensand' in German), a number of small shallow lakes devel- 
oped following dead-ice melting in the Lateglacial. During 
the early Holocene most lakes aggraded by both sedimen- 
tary infill and groundwater lowering (Fig. 7), forming local 
lake mires (Succow 2001a). Dated palaeosols in peat, fluvial 
and lacustrine sequences (8770 ± 160 to 4170 ± 150 cal yrs 
BP; Mundel 1996, Kaffke 2002) form a stratigraphic hiatus, 
which indicates regional groundwater lowering and reduced 
fluvial activity in the mid-Holocene to the early phase of the 
late Holocene. The former vegetation of the Havellandisches 
Luch peatland with dominating sedges and reed was largely 



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119 



Swamp mires 




' -\j 



10000 5000 

Age ("C yrs BP) 



Lake mires 



10000 5000 

Age ("C yrs BP) 



Rain-fed mires 



30 



20 



10 



Kettle-hole mires 



E S 




10000 5000 

Age ( 14 C yrs BP) 




60 



Percolation mires 



10000 5000 

Age ("C yrs BP) 

20 



10000 5000 

Age ("C yrs BP) 




40 




12 
10 S 



T3 o 



4 ES 



Fig. 9: Temporal distribution of palynologically dated peat and gyttja deposits of selected hydrogenetic mire types in northeast 
Germany (Couwenberg et al 2001, adapted). 

Abb. 9: Zeitliche Verteilung palynologisch datierter Torf- und Seeablagerungen ausgewahlter hydrogenetischer Moortypen in 
Nordostdeutschland (Couwenberg et al. 2001, verandert). 



replaced by wet forests consisting of oaks and alders (Kxoss 
1987a). In general, although local mire development in north- 
east Germany varies considerably, many peat sequences are 
characterised by this mid- to early late Holocene stratigraph- 
ic hiatus (e.g. Brande 1996, Succow 2001a, Wolters 2002, 
Janke 2004, Brande et al. 2007) reflecting the regional dry 
climatic conditions in that time. Looking at this from a wider 
perspective, this northeast German peatland-palaeosol (and 
hiatus) is apparently comparable with the so-called 'Black 
Floodplain Soil', a polygenetic buried humic soil horizon (Bo- 
real-Atlantic) found in river valleys and basins of central and 
southern Germany (Rittweger 2000). Between c. 3800 cal yrs 
BP (Mundel 1996) and c. 2600 cal yrs BP (Kaffke 2002) an 
increase in groundwater occurred, causing regional paludifi- 
cation and local lake levels to rise. The vegetation shifted back 
from wet forests to reeds. Basically in that time vast swamp 
mires were formed transgrading onto former areas without 
peats. Two possibly superimposing reasons have been iden- 
tified for this, namely a supra-regional late Holocene cli- 
matic shift to relatively wet-cool conditions (Mundel 1996; 
see more general: e.g. Zolitschka et al. 2003) and a region- 
al damming-effect of the rising Elbe River bed, which was 
driven by the eustatic rise of the North Sea (Mundel 1996, 
Kuster if Potsch 1998; see more general: e.g. Behre 2007). 
This damming effect was linked to relatively high aggrada- 
tion rates in the Elbe valley versus low rates in the Havel val- 



ley. The abundant lake basins in the Havel course serve even 
now as effective traps for river load (Weisse 2003). Thus the 
drainage of the Havel and its tributaries was impeded, caus- 
ing a rise in the regional groundwater. No later than the mid- 
18* to early 19 th century AD, regional peat growth stopped 
again, this time caused by hydro-melioration measures for 
agricultural use and peat cutting. 

Close relationships between fluvial-lacustrine processes 
and mire development are also a characteristic of several 
low-lying river valleys of Vorpommern close to the Baltic 
Sea coast, which were strongly forced by marine influence 
(Janke 2002, Michaelis if Joosten 2010; see chapter 4.1.1). 

1.3.2 Human impact on peatlands and lakes by mill 
stowage 

In general, until the late 12 th to early 13 th century AD land- 
scape hydrology in northeast Germany was dominantly 
driven by climatic (e.g. wet and dry phases), geomorphic 
(e.g. fluvial aggradation and incision) and non-anthropo- 
genic biotic (e.g. beaver activity) factors. However, since the 
Neolithic, localised and phased hydrologic changes in catch- 
ments due to land-cover changes can be assumed. 

During the German Medieval colonisation, the water mill 
technology was introduced by the west German and Flem- 
ing/Dutch settlers in eastern central Europe. For water mill 



120 



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Age (cal kyrs BP) 
7 6 5 



A) Chronozone 



B) River-channel 
pattern 



C) River-floodplain 
deposition 

D) Lake-basin 
development 

E) Lake-level status 



F) Mire formation * 

(Couwenberg et al., 2001 ) ^ 



G) Temperature 
W Germany 

{Litt et al., 2009) 



H) Precipitation 
W Germany 

(Litt etaL, 2009) 



I) Fluvial activity / stability Activit V < + ) 

W and S Germany Stability (-) 

(Hoffmann etaL, 2008) 



J) Fluvial activity 

W and central Poland 

(Starkel etal., 2006) 



K) Lake-level status 
S central Europe 

(Magny, 2004) 



L) Population density 
central Europe 

(Zimmermann, 1996) 



PL 


D1D2 A , 

II l |AL 

me|b0| 


D3 


PB 


BO 


AT1 


AT2 


SB 


SA1 


SA2 





Braid- M 


Meandering and anastomosing 




c 


mg 


River peatland formation (at low-lying rivers) 




F 








Gravels and sands 


Overbank fines and peat 




(3 









z 




Lake basin formation 










Artificial drainage and 




E 


by dead-ice melting 


damming of lakes -4 — ► 


o 


High 

Low,, 




Peat-stratigraphic hiatus 
(low groundwater level) 



7 6 5 4 

Age (cal kyrs BP) 



n i l i y ii "* , i W« il V'H* ■ * ! * 



: January 



6 5 4 

Age (varve kyrs BP) 




■nH^i»W^*A* " u— ^ * * t^*6r^ 



^-M^t^m^^ 



****&< nM* 



-700 =• 
-600 | 
"500 1 




12 11 10 9 



1 1 1 1 1 1 1 

7 6 5 4 3 2 10 

Age (cal kyrs BP) 



Fig. 10: Late Quaternary hydrologic changes in northeast Germany (B-F) plotted alongside further palaeoclimatic and palaeohydrologic proxy records (G- 
K) as well as population data (L) from central Europe. G-H: January and July temperatures and annual precipitation reconstructed from pollen data from 
annually laminated (varved) sediments of Lake Meerfelder Maar (Eifel region, west Germany), using pollen-transfer functions (Litt et al., 2009; adapted). 
I: Geomorphic activity (positive probability values) and stability (negative probability vales) based on CDPF analysis of west and south German fluvial 
deposits (Hoffmann et al. 2008, adapted). J: Geomorphic activity based on CDPF analysis of west and central Polish fluvial deposits (Starkel et al. 2006, 
adapted). K: Lake-level status reconstructed from lakes of southern central Europe (Jura, French Pre-Alps and Swiss Plateau; Magny 2004, adapted). L: 
population density of central Europe reconstructed from archaeological evidence (Zimmermann 1996, adapted). 

Abb. 10: Spatquartare hydrologische Verdnderungen in Nordostdeutschland (B-F) dargestellt mit weiteren palaoklimatischen und palaohydrologischen 
Proxydaten (G-K) sowie paldodemografschen Daten (L) aus Mitteleuropa. G-H: Januar- und Juli-Temperaturen sowie Jahresniederschlag rekonstruiert 
anhand von Pollendaten (mittels Pollen-Transferfunktionen) aus den jahreszeitlich geschichteten (warvierten) Sedimenten des Meerfelder Maars (Eifel, 
Westdeutschland; Litt et al, 2009, verandert). I: Geomorphodynamische Aktivitdt (positive Wahrscheinlichkeitswerte) und Stabilitat (negative Wahrschein- 
lichkeitswerte) basierend aufder CDPF-Analyse west- und suddeutscher fluvialer Ablagerungen (Hoffmann et al. 2008, verandert). J: Geomorphodyna- 
mische Aktivitdt basierend aufder CDPF-Analyse west- und mittelpolnischer fluvialer Ablagerungen (Starkel et al. 2006, verandert). K: Seespiegelstatus 
rekonstruiert fiir das siidliche Mitteleuropa (Jura, franzdsische Voralpen, Schweizer Mittelland; Magny 2004, verandert). L: Bevblkerungsdichte in Mitte- 
leuropa rekonstruiert anhand archaologischer Befunde (Zimmermann 1996, verandert). 



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121 



Groundwater and lake levels of low-lying river valleys in Vorpommern, NE Germany 

(Janke 2004) 



High 
Low 



U ) 



Lake levels in N Poland 

(Ralska-Jasiewiczowa 1989 in Zurek et al. 2002) 



High 
Low 




TJ 





¥ 



Wet and dry phases in mires of E Poland 

(Zurek etal. 2002) 



Wet 
Dry 



r* 






Lake levels in the Swiss Jura and French subalpine mountains 

(Magny 1998) 



High 
Low 

Age ( 14 C yrs BP) 

Age (cal yrs BP) 

Sub epoch 




Hi 




11000 
12900 



10000 
11500 



9000 
10100 



8000 
8900 



7000 
7800 



6000 
6800 



5000 
5800 



4000 
4500 



3000 
3200 



2000 
2000 



1000 
1000 



Lategl. 


Early Holocene 


Mid-Holocene 


Late Holocene 



Fig. 11: Lateglacial and Holocene lake- and groundwater-level data from northern and southern central Europe (after various authors, adapted). Vertical 
bars mark synchronicity of wet (in blue) or dry (in red) phases. 

Abb. 11: Spdtglaziale und holozdne Seespiegel- und Grundwasserspiegeldynamik im nbrdlichen und sudlichen Mitteleuropa (nach verschiedenen Autoren; 
verandert). Die vertikalen Linien markieren Synchronitdt feuchter (in blau) oder trockener (in rot) Phasen. 



operation, a local water level difference of c. 1 m at mini- 
mum is required. This led to the construction of a multitude 
of mill dams and, accordingly, of dammed (mostly original- 
ly natural) lakes and of rising groundwater levels upstream 
(e.g. Schich 1994, Kaiser 1996, Driescher 2003, Bleile 2004, 
Nutzmann et al. 2011). The operation of hundreds of water 
mills (together with fish weirs) drastically changed the Me- 
dieval hydrology in the region. 

The phenomenon of 'mill stowage' ('Muhlenstau' in Ger- 
man) and its implications for settlement, economy and land- 
scape was first systematically investigated by Beschoren 
(1935) and Herrmann (1959) particularly for the Spree and 
Havel Rivers, and later on extended by Driescher (2003) 
in the form of a multitude of local case studies in the wider 
region. The impacts of mill stowage on groundwater and 
lake levels, mire development and sedimentary processes 
are particularly well-investigated in the Berlin region. For 
the time-span 12 th -14 th century AD dated sequences from 
peatlands typically show a sudden change from highly to 
weakly decomposed peats or an inversion of the aggrada- 
tion sequence (lake deposits overlying peats). These records 
were interpreted in terms of an intensification of mire for- 
mation and rising lake levels, respectively, by mill stowage 
(Brande 1986, 1996, Bose & Brande 1986, 2009, Kuster & 



Kaiser 2010). Medium-scale rivers and their riparian zones, 
such as the Havel and Spree, were in part drastically influ- 
enced by these processes, whereas the large-scale Elbe River 
had no damming constructions but boat mills (Graf 2006). 
Along the low-gradient middle Havel course, mill weirs 
in the cities of (Berlin-) Spandau and Brandenburg/Havel, 
which were constructed in the late 12 th /early 13 th century 
AD (Schich 1994), caused large-scale lake enlargements 
and paludifications (Kaiser et al. 2012b). Some smaller riv- 
ers and streams had a multitude of water mills ('mill stair- 
cases'). For instance, along a 20 km section of the upper 
Dahme River (Brandenburg) 14 mills were operated, some 
since the 13 th /14 th century AD (Juschus 2002), strongly 
changing the river gradient, the discharge process and the 
local groundwater level. 

5 Synopsis 

The temporal focus of this overview is the Late Quaternary 
comprising here the last c. 20,000 years and using a millen- 
nial scale. Accordingly, this synopsis will concentrate on this 
time span, comparing the regional results with those from 
other parts in central Europe and adding information (e.g. on 
climatic evolution), which is important for the understand- 



122 



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ing of the results presented. However, as the regional drain- 
age system is influenced, on the one hand, by very long-term 
endogenic processes, and, on the other hand, has experienced 
a historically unprecedented strong change during the last c. 
300 years (e.g. Blackbourn 2006, Kaiser et al. 2012b), these 
both time perspectives shall be touched at least by a glimpse. 

5.1 Impact of neotectonic processes 

As outlined in chapter 2, successive Pleistocene glaciations 
have formed the main relief and sedimentary settings in 
the North European Plain. However, the river system shows 
several conspicuous patterns - e.g. the asymmetric (right- 
skewed) catchments of the Elbe and Oder Rivers, a west ori- 
ented turn of the Havel and Spree Rivers, the nearly orthogo- 
nal valley grid of Vorpommern (Fig. l) - which suggests the 
impact of neotectonic processes. Accordingly, several authors 
(e.g. Schirrmeister 1998, Reicherter et al. 2005, Sirocko et 
al. 2008) have asked to what extent does the present-day to- 
pography of the so-called 'North German Basin' mirror the 
heterogeneous structure of the basement? They stated that 
several river valleys (including spillways) and terminal mo- 
raines in northern Germany apparently run parallel to the 
major tectonic lineaments and block boundaries. Moreover, 
the drainage pattern and the distribution of lakes in north 
Germany exactly follow block boundaries and, hence, mark 
zones of present-day subsidence. The Tertiary morphology 
in that area was apparently draped by Quaternary glacial 
deposits, but rivers and lakes that dominate the topography 
of the modern landscape still reflect the geodynamic centres 
of Tertiary tectonism and halokinesis (Sirocko et al. 2002). 

5.2 Climate impact 

The synoptic Figure 10A-F shows a selection of results on 
Late Quaternary river, lake and peatland formation, which 
represent the regionally typical processes discussed in the 
previous sections. The temporal resolution of those results 
is quite coarse mostly covering a chronozone or represent- 
ing, in general, a millennial scale. By contrast, comparing 
climatic, hydrologic, geomorphic and historic data from cen- 
tral Europe partly represent centennial- up to decadal-scale 
records (Fig. 10G-L). It should be borne in mind that the 
statistical basis for certain evidence in northeast Germany 
partly is still small (e.g. on the lake-level status). 

In this region, climate was the dominant driver for geo- 
morphic and hydrologic changes up to the late Holocene in- 
tensification of land use by man. With the exception of neo- 
tectonic processes of yet inadequately known impact even 
the partly considerably effective sea level rise of the North 
and Baltic Seas is ultimately climate-driven. Within this cli- 
mate-controlled setting local geomorphic and biotic process- 
es operated (e.g. dead-ice melting, fluvial aggradation/inci- 
sion, mire formation). 

However, there is no specific (high-resolution) Late Qua- 
ternary climate record from northeast Germany available 
so far except those that cover relatively short periods (e.g. 
Buntgen et al. 2011). Hence the pollen-based high-resolu- 
tion record from Lake Maarfelder Maar (Eifel region, west 
Germany; Litt et al. 2009) can be used to characterise some 
climatic trends at least for the Holocene, which, in general, 



can be assumed even for northeast Germany. In particular for 
the relatively dry-warm early Holocene and the wet-warm 
mid-Holocene ('Holocene optimum' between c. 8000-5000 
varve yrs BP; Wanner et al. 2009) some simultaneous hydro- 
logic phenomena of northeast Germany (e.g. early Holocene 
lake-level lowstands, mid-Holocene groundwater lowering 
in peatlands) can be presumably ascribed to direct climat- 
ic impact. Geochronological data from river catchments of 
west and south Germany as well as west and central Poland 
allow some general assumptions on palaeodischarge and pa- 
laeoflood dynamics, which can be hypothesised even for the 
region under study. Large datasets of 14 C ages obtained from 
late Quaternary fluvial units were analysed using cumula- 
tive probability density functions (CPDFs) in order to iden- 
tify phases of fluvial activity (floods) and stability (Starkel 
et al. 2006, Koslacz et al. 2007, Hoffmann et al. 2008; Fig. 
101, J). In the west and south German record (Fig. 101), sev- 
eral periods of fluvial activity were identified and compared 
to climatic, palaeohydrologic and human impact proxy data. 
Until c. 4250 cal yrs BP, events of fluvial activity are main- 
ly coupled to wetter and/or cooler climatic phases. Due to 
growing population and intensive agricultural activities dur- 
ing the Bronze Age the increased fluvial activity between c. 
3300 and 2820 cal yrs BP cannot unequivocally be related to 
climate. Since 875 AD the growing population density (Fig. 
10L) is via landcover changes in the catchments (increasing 
arable land and pastures, decreasing forests) considered as 
the major external forcing (Hoffmann et al. 2008). Similar 
curve characteristics of CPDFs from "C data on fluvial units 
show records from west and central Poland (Starkel et al. 
2006; Fig. 10J), allowing corresponding conclusions. 

From southern central Europe a data set of 180 radiocar- 
bon, tree-ring and archaeological dates obtained from sedi- 
ment sequences of 26 lakes was used by Magny (2004) to 
construct a regional Holocene lake-level record (Fig. 10K). 
The dates form clusters suggesting an alternation of lower 
and higher, climatically driven lake-level phases. The com- 
parison of relative Holocene lake- and groundwater-level 
data from north and south central Europe reveals some dis- 
tinct synchronicities of wet and dry phases, but also some 
distinct disparities (Ralska-Jasiewiczowa 1989, Kaiser 
1996, Magny 1998, Wojciechowski 1999, Kleinmann et 
al. 2000, Zurek et al. 2002, Janke 2004; Fig. 11). In general, 
synchronic correlation of identical phases works far better 
within nearby German and Polish sites of northern cen- 
tral Europe. In comparison to the southern central Euro- 
pean record, however, these records appear to be somewhat 
'monolithic', which probably is caused by a low temporal 
resolution. For the early Holocene, the lake-level record in 
northeast Germany and north Poland shows a clear ten- 
dency towards low levels. This is not reflected in the mire 
record of east Poland that widely indicates a wet phase. The 
late Boreal and partly the early Atlantic is characterised 
by increasing lake and groundwater levels followed by a 
decrease in the late Atlantic. The beginning and mid-late 
Holocene (c. 2500 cal yrs BP) reveals wet phases, whereas 
a dry phase lies in between. The general wet-dry pattern 
inferred correlates well with major Holocene climatic epi- 
sodes (e.g. Harrison et al. 1993, Magny 2004, Litt et al. 
2009, Wanner et al. 2009). 

A synoptic view on the northeast German results (Fig. 



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123 



Tab. 6: Examples of new and promising palaeohydrologic research topics for northeast Germany. 

Tab. 6: Beispiele fiir neue, vielversprechende Forschungsthemen zur Palaohydrologie/Historischen Hydrologie in Nordostdeutschland. 



Research field 


Remarks 


Exploration and combination 
of proxies 


Using new proxies and new combinations of proxies for deciphering and validating of palaeohydrologic 
information [e.g. tree ring data, near-shore and shoreline sediments of lakes, palaeosols of wetlands] 


Human induced lake drainage 


Exploring the occurrence and the rewetting potential of lake basins drained by historic anthropogenic 
hydromelioration 


Human induced lake 
formation 


Exploring the properties and genesis of lakes and ponds formed in Medieval times and afterwards; 
deciphering historic hydrologie information from young deposits / geoarchives 


Long hydrologie time series 


Linking instrumental records of specific hydrologie parameters [observations e.g. by gauging] with proxy 
records from geoarchives 


Quantitative palaeohydrology 


Combining palaeohydrologic field records with hydrologie modelling at different areal and temporal scales 


Reference status of wetlands 


Reconstructing the [near-] natural status of wetlands; i.e. before human impact has sustainably changed the 
aquatic environments 



10B-F) and on evidence from other central European regions 
(Fig. 10G-L) reveals some concordances. But even discrepan- 
cies become apparent, partly within a type of proxy. Reasons 
for this might be, on the one hand, real differences in the 
regional hydrologie evolution, which are partly caused by 
different (pre-)historic human impact. On the other hand, a 
partly drastically different statistical base for the parameters 
presented is to consider. For example, a few data on the lake- 
level status in northeast Germany contrast a large database 
in southern central Europe. Thus future research possibly 
will modify the regional information available. 

5.3 Pre-modern and modern human impact 

First intended changes of the regional hydrography date 
from late Medieval times (since the late 12 th century AD). In 
parallel the regional forests were widely cleared (Bork et al. 
1998; Tab. 5), causing several unintended hydrologie changes 
such as rising groundwater and lakes followed by increasing 
fluvial discharge. In the period 18 th to first half of the 20 th cen- 
tury AD most of the peatlands were transformed by hydro- 
melioration into extensive grasslands (Schultz-Sternberg 
et al. 2000). In parallel a dense network of channels for in- 
land navigation was formed and most channels of large riv- 
ers were modified by hydraulic engineering. 

The most intensive changes, however, did not occur un- 
til the last c. 50-60 years. The peatlands were nearly total- 
ly transformed into intensive grassland and arable land by 
complex melioration measures (e.g. Succow 2001b); only 
2 % of the original mires remained in a near-natural status 
(Couwenberg if Joosten 2001). In Mecklenburg-Vorpom- 
mern, for instance, for the period 1965-1995 a total loss of 
c. 290 km 2 peatlands by peat decomposition was calculated, 
which accounts for c. 13 % of the state's pre-modern peat- 
land area (Lenschow 2001). Even as a consequence of hy- 
dro-melioration measures in parallel with climatic and land- 



cover changes, the groundwater level of the first aquifer 
significantly dropped (1-2 m) at a regional scale, particular 
in Brandenburg, causing in many cases lake-level lowerings 
(e.g. Germer et al. 2011, Kaiser et al. 2012b). 

Furthermore, lignite open cast mining has drastically 
changed vast areas in some regions. In the Niederlausitz re- 
gion a total of c. 800 km 2 was required for mining activity so 
far. A large number of artificial lakes and connective canals 
were formed by flooding of disused open-cast mines, form- 
ing the 'Lausitzer Seenland' (Grunewald 2008). In the near 
future the lake area here amounts to a total of c. 250 km 2 . In 
the Leipzig-Halle-Bitterfeld area the total area of anthropo- 
genic lakes in the mid-2 1 st century AD will result in c. 70 km 2 , 
forming the 'Neue Mitteldeutsche Seenlandschaft' (Czegka 
et al. 2008). If the total area of natural lakes in northeast 
Germany is considered (c. 1300 km 2 ; Korczynski et al. 2005), 
artificially dug 'new lakes' (c. 320 km 2 ) will form a portion of 
c. 20 % of the total lake area soon of c. 1620 km 2 . 

Thus in modern times, man became by several impacts a 
very important geomorphic and hydrologie factor in the re- 
gion. With respect on the pace and magnitude his influence 
exceeds natural changes by climate and natural geomorphic 
processes. 

5.4 Final remarks and research perspectives 

The results presented here on the partly interdependent de- 
velopment of the main aquatic (inland) environments in 
northeast Germany hold treasures for those seeking to un- 
derstand the long-term hydrologie dynamics of these eco- 
systems. Many modern day issues, such as understanding 
the causes of present hydrologie changes, re-evaluation of 
land use strategies and implementation of restoration meas- 
ures, can profit from being looked at from a longer tempo- 
ral perspective. Periodic hydrologie change is the 'normal 
status' of the environments discussed. But even if the cur- 



iae 



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rent regional hydrologic change, probably strongly triggered 
by man-made global climate change, should be exceptional 
with respect to its pace and magnitude, historic analogies 
may help to understand or even foresee complex future land- 
scape dynamics. 

As shown above, a number of principle questions on 
regional palaeohydrology have been posed periodically - 
gaining in significance each time they resurface. Research 
over the last c. 20 years has generally made progress in terms 
of expanding the regional thematic knowledge base. What is 
new for the region is the growth in well-documented local 
field findings with a broad range of accompanying lab anal- 
yses, particularly of geochronological and palaeoecological 
data. These have been complemented with (semi-) quantita- 
tive data on the development of specific hydrologic param- 
eters (e.g. on river-channel patterns or lake-level status) as 
well as summaries of certain processes (e.g. on peatland for- 
mation) in several studies. Even some specific geomorphic 
and sedimentary-pedologic features were newly discovered 
for the region (e.g. fluvio-deltaic sequences / fan-deltas in 
lake basins, palaeosols / hiatuses in peatlands). 

New research is needed to refine knowledge on the long- 
term development of the regional drainage system and its 
specific aquatic environments. This includes the establish- 
ment of hydrologic records with high temporal resolution, 
which are widely missing in the region so far. In addition, 
new and particularly promising regional research aspects 
still abound; some examples are listed in Table 6. 

6 Conclusions 

(l) Regional research performed on late Quaternary palaeo- 
hydrology has largely concentrated on single aquatic envi- 
ronments and single hydrologic parameters so far. But the 
drainage pattern evolution as a system was rarely in focus. 
This first comprehensive overview on drainage system evo- 
lution in northeast Germany has shown in detail how rivers, 
lakes and peatlands developed partly interdependently dur- 
ing the last c. 20,000 years. 

(2) Until the late Holocene (c. 12 th /13 th century AD), land- 
scape hydrology in northeast Germany was predominantly 
driven by climate, including geomorphic and non-anthro- 
pogenic biotic factors. Furthermore, initial structural geo- 
logic findings suggest that tectonic and halokinetic influence 
played a more pronounced role on late Quaternary hydro- 
graphic evolution than previously assumed. The first indent- 
ed anthropogenic changes of the regional hydrography date 
from the late Medieval. Strong human impacts on a regional 
scale occurred from the 18 th century AD onwards. In modern 
times, man's impact exceeds the natural changes caused by 
natural climatic and geomorphic processes. 

(3) Although certain aspects of regional drainage network 
evolution have attracted considerable interest, the general 
state of thematic knowledge can be characterised as 'moder- 
ate' at best. For example, (a) the late Quaternary develop- 
ment of the large rivers (Elbe, Oder) and most of the medi- 
um-scale rivers (e.g. Havel, Spree) is only initially known; 

(b) high-resolution lake-level records are not yet available; 

(c) estimations of palaeodischarge and palaeoflood charac- 
teristics are widely lacking; (d) the aspect of climatic versus 
human forcing of past hydrologic processes has rarely been 



pursued so far; and (e) the role of beavers as effective 'engi- 
neers' forming Holocene aquatic landscapes has not yet been 
approached in the region. 

(4) To overcome these deficiencies new research is neces- 
sary. Several current and planned projects on river valley 
and peatland restoration in the region open promising op- 
portunities for the regular integration of palaeohydrologic 
work into present issues. Future research, more than previ- 
ously, should aim at developing and integrating multiproxy 
records from a variety of scientific perspectives. Close links 
to high resolution records of climate and human impact, 
which regionally are still to be established, must be encour- 
aged and fostered. 

Acknowledgements 

We are grateful to K. Billwitz (Hude), A. Brande (Berlin), 
F. Brose (Frankfurt/Oder), L. Eifimann (Leipzig), K.-D. Jager 
(Berlin), W. Janke (Greifswald), H. Kliewe ("J", Greifswald), 
H. Liedtke (Bochum), J. Marcinek and B. Nitz (both Berlin) 
as well as M. Succow (Greifswald) for initiating, stimulat- 
ing and supporting regional palaeohydrologic research from 
different viewpoints and in the course of various projects. 
All these colleagues, some of whom started their investiga- 
tions more than 50 years ago, form the founder generation 
for modern thematic research in the region. Basic research 
for the results presented in this overview was made possi- 
ble particularly by projects funded by the German Research 
Council in the 1990s and 2000s (grants Bi-560, Ma- 1425 and 
Ni-343). We would like to thank P. Wiese (Greifswald) for 
preparation of some figures. The German Academy of Sci- 
ence and Engineering (acatech) and the German Research 
Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) are kindly acknowledged, 
for providing the framework for this overview within the 
projects 'Geo Resource Water - the Challenge of Global 
Change', 'Terrestrial Environmental Observatories (TER- 
ENO)', and 'Virtual Institute of Integrated Climate and Land- 
scape Evolution Analyses (ICLEA)'. 

Finally, we are grateful to M. Bose (Berlin) and an anony- 
mous reviewer who gave us inspiring comments, improving 
significantly our manuscript. 

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E&G 



Quaternary Science Journal 

Volume 61 / Number 2 / 2012 / 133-145 / DOI lD.3285/eg.61.2.D2 
www.quaternary-science.net 



GEOZDN SCIENCE MEDIA 
ISSN 0424-7116 



Younger Middle Terrace - Saalian pre-Drenthe deposits 
overlying MIS 7 Nachtigall interglacial strata near Hbxter/ 
Weser, NW-Germany 

Peter Rohde, Jochen Lepper, Wolfgang Thiem t 



How to cite: 



Abstract: 



Kurzfassung: 



Keywords: 



Rohde, P., Lepper, J., Thiem, W. f (2012): Younger Middle Terrace: Saalian pre-Drenthe deposits overlying MIS 7 Nachtigall inter- 
glacial strata near Hbxter/Weser, NW-Germany. - E&G Quaternary Science Journal, 61 (2): 133-145. DOI: 10.3285/eg.61.2.02 

Subrosion of Lower Triassic evaporites by subsidence has preserved peat coal and clay as Pleistocene warm and cool stage deposits 
near Hoxter in the northwest-German uplands. There, in the upper reaches of the River Weser, peat coal and clay are sandwiched 
by gravel and sand of two river terraces; they were exploited in a small pit called Grube Nachtigall. Exploration drillings from 
1997/98 enabled investigating a 13.5 m core with the warm and cool stage deposits in respect of sedimentology, palynostratigraphy 
and radiometric dating. In 2011 the results concerning this "Nachtigall-Complex" have been published separately by two groups of 
authors also concerned with the project. Since 1994 also analyzing lithostratigraphy and structure of the Pleistocene framework, 
that is to say about 25 square kilometers of valley floor and hillside landscape, has been the aim of the methodologically independ- 
ent study presented here. The subrosion structure turned out to be partly limited by faults. The most important Pleistocene mapping 
units are the deposits of 4 river terraces; in descending chronological order these are: - youngest Upper Terrace, not dislocated 
- Older Middle Terrace, subsided - Younger Middle Terrace, not subsided - Lower Terrace, not subsided, its sediments partially 
lying upon subsided Older Middle Terrace deposits. The layers of Nachtigall-Complex likewise directly overlie subsided Older 
Middle Terrace deposits and with an angular unconformity are overlain by Younger Middle Terrace deposits; they are subsided and 
deformed. According to generally accepted traditional mapping outside the study site, the Older Middle Terrace has to be assigned 
to the MIS 8 equivalent in the lower part of the Saalian Complex, and the Younger Middle Terrace to the deep MIS 6 equivalent in 
the deepest portion of the upper Saalian Complex, i.e. pre-Drenthe. Hence the palynological as well as the radiometric MIS 7 age of 
the recently defined Nachtigall 1 Interglacial correspond to the lithostratigraphic model inferred from structural analysis. 



Die vor-drenthe-zeitliche Jiingere Mittelterrasse Liber dem MIS 7 Nachtigall-lnterglazial 
struktur Albaxen bei Hbxter/Weser, NW-Deutschland 



Elemente der Subrosions- 



In einer Subrosionsstruktur liber Evaporiten des Oberen Buntsandstein sind im Bergland am Oberlauf der Weser zwischen Hox- 
ter und Holzminden pleistozane warm- und kiihlzeitliche „Tone"- und „Torfe" erhalten geblieben. Sie trennen hier kaltzeitliche 
Terrassen-Kiese und -Sande der Weser. Als Rohstoff wurden sie in dem kleinen Tagebau Nachtigall abgebaut. Aus Bohrungen, 
die 1997/98 zur Erkundung der Lagerstatte u.a. als Rammkernbohrungen niedergebracht wurden, standen fur geowissenschaft- 
liche Untersuchungen 33 m nahezu durchgehende Kernstrecke zur Verfiigung. Daraus konnten 13,5 m fur sedimentologische, 
palynostratigraphische und radiochronologische Untersuchungen ausgewahlt werden. Diese warm- und kiihlklimatischen Ab- 
lagerungen wurden als Nachtigall-Complex zusammengefasst und 2011 von zwei Autorengruppen des Projekts in zwei metho- 
disch unterschiedlichen Artikeln veroffentlicht. Als geologischer Rahmen wurden 25 km z Flussniederungs- und Hanglandschaft 
seit 1994 lithostratigraphisch und strukturgeologisch mit dem hier vorgelegten Ergebnis analysiert. Die zuvor schon bekannte 
Subrosionsstruktur erwies sich als z.T. von Storungen begrenzt. Die wichtigsten pleistozanen Kartiereinheiten sind die Sedi- 
mentkorper von 4 Flussterrassen; nach abnehmendem Alter sind dies: - jiingste der Oberterrassen, nicht abgesunken - Altere 
Mittelterrasse (AMT), abgesunken - Jiingere Mittelterrasse, nicht abgesunken - Niederterrasse, z.T. auf Schichten der abge- 
sunkenen AMT. Die Schichten des Nachtigall-Complex liegen direkt liber Schichten der AMT und werden von Schichten der 
Jiingeren Mittelterrasse diskordant iiberlagert; sie sind abgesunken und verformt. Aufierhalb des Untersuchungsgebietes wird 
die AMT - ihrer Lage in der Terrassentreppe gemafj - dem Marinen Isotopen-Stadium MIS 8 im unteren Teil des Saale-Komplex 
zugeordnet, die Jiingere Mittelterrasse dem alteren Abschnitt von MIS 6 im tiefen oberen Teil des Saale-Komplex vor dem 
Drenthe-Stadium. Damit wird das sowohl palynostratigraphisch als auch radiometrisch ermittelte MIS 7-Alter des zwischen 
beiden liegenden jiingst defmierten Nachtigall 1 Interglazial lithostratigraphisch gestiitzt. 

Younger Middle Terrace, Wehrden-Niveau, Nachtigall 1 Interglacial, Older Middle Terrace, Reiherbach-Niveau, Saalian Complex, 
pre-Drenthe period, MIS 6, MIS 7, MIS 8, mapping, lithostratigraphy, structural analysis, river terrace, staircase-position, stack- 
position, Weser upper reaches, Albaxen subrosion structure, NW-Germany 



Addresses of authors: P. Rohde, Miidener Weg 61, 30625 Hannover, Germany; J. Lepper, Ahldener Strafie 10 E, 30625 Hannover, Germany; 

both formerly state geological survey of Lower Saxony, today's Landesamt fur Bergbau, Energie und Geologie, Hannover 



EBG / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 133-115 /DOI 10.3285/eg.61.2.02 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution ticense 



133 



1 Introduction 



If we look back to the starting point of the present study in 
1998, we find: 

• a pit for exploiting peat coal and clay for manifestly 
more than a century — 

• ice age deposits of interglacial character taken note of 
for at least a hundred years — 

• questionable assignment of the warm period strata to 
the Pleistocene stratigraphy — . 

We also find a drilling project for expanding the area of 
open cast working to the north. Jochen Lepper located and 
supervised the drillings, evaluated the drilling project (Lep- 
per 1998, 2011) and made available core KB 1 for scientif- 
ic investigation. He also coordinated the studies that are 
based on structural analysis plus lithostratigraphy, on sedi- 
mentology, on palynology plus palynostratigraphy, and on 
radiometric dating. An initially envisaged common publi- 
cation regrettably has not been realized as it turned out to 
be too complex and too long. Special mention should be 
made of the comprehensive palaeobotanic analyses of Hel- 
mut Miiller, by which he unravelled intricate depositional 
environments of peat coal and clay. Thus he determined the 
stratigraphic position of Nachtigall-Complex, got aware of 
its contemporaneity with the succession of Gottingen / Ot- 
tostrafie (Gruger 1996), and found out the analogy with the 
Velay profile, Massif Central, south-central France (Reille 
et al. 2000, Beaulieu et al. 2001). His death called for finally 
supporting his palynostratigraphic conclusions. The way in 
which the authors accounted for the bio- and chronostrati- 
graphic results has been outlined by Kleinmann, Muller, 
Lepper i^Waas (2011). 

Peter Rohde could discuss thoroughly his results of terrace 
stratigraphy and his ideas concerning the source of certain 
fine-grained clastic matter with Helmut Muller. His terrace 
model is supported by results of the deceased field geoscien- 
tist and highly appreciated colleague Wolfgang Thiem, Han- 
nover University, Geographic Institute (Thiem 1988; Rohde 
ir Thiem 1998). Wolfgang Thiem has taken active part in the 
field work in Nachtigall pit. The present paper has been initi- 
ated by Jochen Lepper, who above all contributed the geo- 
logical setting. 

We would like to point to the end of text where abbrevia- 
tions are explained. 



2 Study site 



The study area in the Weser Valley in NW-Germany is situ- 
ated in the Mesozoic uplands, about 60 km south of their 
northern edge. Here, downstream of the medieval town of 
Hoxter, about 25 square kilometers of valley floor and hill- 
side landscape are included (Fig. l). For orienting oneself, a 
more prominent place may be Corvey Abbey near Hoxter, 
a world heritage name because of the 1130 years old, well 
preserved Carolingian westwork. 

The so called Zeche NACHTIGALL (Nightingale pit) is 
at a place that since the middle of the 16th century is called 
„Bergstette" in terms of a prospective site (Michael Koch, 
Hoxter, personal communication 2010). It has been exploit- 
ed maybe since 1795 (=> Tonenburg - in Wikipedia [27 Fe- 



br.2012]), maybe from the 1840s (Schlegel 1997). Documen- 
tarily mentioned, subsurface peat-coal mining was practiced 
at least since 1857 (Schlegel 1997: map of mine 1866) up 
to a date well before 1884/86 (Carthaus 1886), and about 
1920 until 1923. Besides, "clay" has been extracted tempo- 
rarily by open cast work having started some time between 
1866 and 1884. In 1895 the Feldbrandziegelei Johann Buch 
was founded. Recently the brickworks Ziegelwerk Buch at 
Hoxter-Albaxen, in its small Nachtigall clay pit (Fig. 1, 2, 3) 
extracted minor quantities of peat coal, but primarily car- 
bonaceous pelites as before. 

It is worth noting that at a distance of about 150 km, at 
Witten-Bommern, Ruhr district, there is another ancient pit 
with the same name Zeche Nachtigall. 1743-1892, this former 
colliery produced carboniferous hard coal, and 2003 has been 
transformed into the identically named Industrial Museum. 

3 Previous research 

The peat and clay deposits of Nachtigall pit have attracted inter- 
est since the 19th century (Dechen 1884; Carthaus 1886; Ko- 
ken 1901; Siegert 1913, 1921; Soergel 1927, 1939; Stoller 1928). 
In 1908/09 and 1927 first thorough studies were conducted to 
present the geological map 1 : 25 000, sheet Holzminden, today's 
number 4122 (Grupe 1912, 1929). Much later the site-specific ex- 
traordinary Pleistocene succession in the south of the mapped 
area was dealt with again (Brelie et al. 1971, Muller 1986, 
Rohde 1989, Rohde ir Thiem 1998). Mangelsdorf (1981) 
studied geologically the Nachtigall site and investigated pal- 
ynologically the succession of its Middle-Pleistocene organic 
deposits. The hydrogeological aspect of the area has been 
investigated by Straaten (1982) and Fischer et al. (1990). 
The latest information was given by an unpublished report 
by Lepper (1998) in the context of the company's request to 
the authorities for extending the hitherto granted exploita- 
tion of the carbonaceous brick clay. For archived supporting 
documents see Lepper (2011). 

4 Borehole evidence 

The present structural study and map are based on boreholes 
of very different informative value (Fig. 2, 3) that may be 
divided into 5 groups. 

l) Three percussive core / wash boreholes as explora- 
tion boreholes for exploring the extension of the clay 
and peat deposit, additionally used as groundwater 
observation-wells / Grundwassermefistellen (Lepper 
1998, 2011). 

KB 1 (1998), cored 10-43 m; the core was investigated 
sedimentologically and palynologically in great detail 
(Kleinmann et al. 2011), partially also by radiometric 
dating (Waas, Kleinmann & Lepper 2011); 
Gauss-Krueger grid reference R 35 27 755 / H 57 41 810, 
elevation +108.55 m NN; geographic coordinates 
51°48'34.8" N / 9°24'04.7" E. 

KB 2 (1998), cored 10-13 m / 15-16 m / 18.2-32 m, 
washed for the rest; Gauss-Krueger grid reference 
R 35 27 855 / H 57 41 805, elevation +105.27 m NN. 



131 



E6G / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 133-115 / D0I 10.3285/eg.61.2.D2 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 




IN 

Hi 

//fl 

//Lo 

qN 
q(WE} 

qpi 
q(R) 
q(L) 
q(W) 

q//t 

q//tn 

k 

mo 

mm 

mu 



KB 1 
49,158,161 



anthropogenic landfill 

Holocene floodplaine loam 

periglacial solifluction detritus 

loess and loess derivatives 

Lower Terrace deposits (Weichselian and uppermost Saalian) 

deposits of Younger Middle Terrace: Wehrden-Niveau (upper Saalian) 

Nachtigall-Complex: warm and cool climate with interbedded cold climate deposits 

deposits of Older Middle Terrace: Reiherbach-Niveau (lower Saalian) 

Upper Terraces, youngest unit: Lauenforde-Niveau (Elsterian) 

Upper Terraces, second youngest unit: Wurgassen-Niveau (Elsterian) 

deposits of Weser terraces older than Weichselian 

deposits of tributary valleys' terraces 

Keuper (Upper Triassic) 

Upper Muschelkalk (Middle Triassic) 

Middle Muschelkalk (Middle Triassic) 

Lower Muschelkalk (Middle Triassic) 

Upper Buntsandstein (Lower Triassic) 

Solling-Folge, Middle Buntsandstein (Lower Triassic) 

edge of valley floor (flood plain and Lower Terrace) 

subsurface fault, inferred, in parts limiting the subsided area 

border zone, where subsidence is fading away 

reference borehole 

cored research borehole 1998 

outcrop numbers, without relevance in this map section 

NW-SE-line of vertical section, northern part of map, without relevance in this map section 



Fig. 1: Geological Setting. Taken from Lepper & Mengeling (1990), with modifications. As to further details see Fig. 2. 
Abb. 1: Geologischer Rahmen. Nach Lepper & Mengeling (1990), mit Anderungen. Weitere Signaturen sieheAbb 2. 



EBG / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 133-145 / DOI 10.3285/eg.61.2.D2 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



135 



KB 3 (1998), partly cored 15-17 m, cored 17-28 m depth, 
washed for the rest; Gauss-Krueger grid reference 
R 35 27 888 / H 57 41 665, elevation +102.22 m NN. 

2) Three additional wash boreholes as exploratory and 
groundwater observation wells; these are B 1, B 2, B 4 
(1998) of 36 m / 27.5 m / 31 m, having penetrated the 
clay and peat deposit (Lepper 1998). 

3) Eight percussion boreholes S 1 - S 8 (1997), up to 13 m 
deep, for groundwater observation and for investigating 
the strata that overlie the clay and peat deposit (Lep- 
per 1998). 

4) Approximately 50 boreholes for gravel-exploration and 
groundwater survey in the surroundings of the clay and 
peat deposit (1952 and 1972-1998, data bases of the state 
geological surveys Landesamt fur Bergbau, Energie und 
Geologie, Hannover, as well as Geologischer Dienst 
Nordrhein-Westfalen, Krefeld). 

5) According to Grupe (1929) five historical exploration 
boreholes in the context of coal mining activities, 54 m 
(about 1905) and 18 m / 20 m / 28 m / 29 m (about 1919). 



5 Methods 



The geological study is principally concerned with the 
structural analysis of a 25 km 2 area around Nachtigall pit 
with its deposits of interglacial character (Nachtigall-Suc- 
cession, Kleinmann et al. 2011). It distinguishes lithostrati- 
graphic units and decodes the intricate structure of their 
horizontal and vertical relative positions. Finally it aims at 
assigning the elements of the structural geological mod- 
el to Pleistocene stratigraphy (Litt et al. 2007) and to the 
chronostratigraphically calibrated MIS system of Marine 
16 0-Isotope Stages (e.g. Petit et al. 2000). 

The lithostratigraphic and the structural investigations 
comprise geological mapping in the pit and applying the de- 
tailed geological map 1 : 25 000 by Grupe (1929) and also the 
diploma thesis by Straaten (1982). Moreover it comprises 
evaluating historical mine plans as well as evaluating, inter- 
preting and correlating the petrographic borehole data of all 
sorts of borehole records available (see above). Ground level 
elevation refers to German Ordnance datum NN (Normal 
Null) mainly according to Topographic Map 1 : 5 000, partly 
to Topographic Map 1 : 25 000. 

Assigning the sedimentary bodies to specific units of the 
Pleistocene stratigraphy has been carried out on the base of 




Holz- 
minden 



I | valley floor (flood plain and Lower Terrace) 

—> — subsurface fault, inferred, in parts limiting the subsided area 

J L border zone, where subsidence is fading away 

• reference borehole 

Fig. 2: Albaxen subrosion structure. Central part of Fig. 1, augmented. 
Mapping 2008 by Peter Rohde. 

Abb. 2: Subrosionsstruktur von Albaxen. Innerer Tell von Abb. 1, vergro- 
fiert. Kartierung 2008, Peter Rohde. 







ocp 



underground mining 1859/66 \ 

underground mining < from Hoffmann 1920) 

1920 and before J 

area of expansion of the site to the north, with 
exploration boreholes KB _, B _, S _ (see chapter 4) 

W-E vertical section (see Fig. 4) 
open cast pit 



Fig. 3: Plan of Nachtigall pit. Topography from Deutsche Grundkarte 
1 : 5 000, Nachtigall, 3526 Rechts, 5740 Hoch. 

Abb. 3: Gelandegrundriss der Grube Nachtigall. Topographie nach Deut- 
sche Grundkarte 1 : 5 000, Nachtigall, 3526 Rechts, 5740 Hoch. 



136 



E6G / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 133-115 / D0I 10.3285/eg.61.2.D2 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



Tab. 1: Quaternary lithostratigraphic units in Albaxen site near Hoxter, NW-Germany. The site includes the Albaxen subrosion structure with the warm, 
cool, and cold stage sedimentsts of Nachtigall-Deposit. Data concerne base level, surface level and thickness of lithostratigraphic units (Rohde 2008). 
Maximum subsidence suggested 62-65 m (? 78 m). 

Tab. 1: Quartdrzeitliche lithostratigraphische Einheiten im Gebiet Albaxen bei Hoxter in NW-Deutschland. Das Gebiet umfasst die Subrosionsstruktur 
von Albaxen mit den warm-, kithl- und kaltzeitlichen Nachtigall-Lagerstdttenschichten. Erfasst sind die Einheiten nach Basis- und Oberflachen-Hohen- 
lage und Mdchtigkeit (Rohde 2008). Die Absenkung durch Subrosion betragt maximal vermutlich 62-65 m (? 78 m). 



deposits 


base: mete 
NN 


r relative to 

W0F 1 ! 
{...}km27^ 117 


recent surface 

meter NN 


recent thickness: meter 
mean minimum maximum 


Upper Terraces, 
Lauenforde Niveau 


116 -> 126 


{28^ 37} 


132 [?] 








Older Middle Terrace [Reiherbach Niveau] 
ditto: subsided 

-borehole KB 3/ 1998 
-borehole KB 2/ 1998 
- borehole GRUPE1 [1919?] 

OMT, subsided and undistinguishably cov- 
ered by Lower Terrace 
OMT, subsided, base extremely low-lying 


103 -* 110 

<74.2 
<73.3 
<69.9 

71.0 -> 75.5 
40.8/38.0/725.1 


{15 -» 22} 

<-13.6 
<-14.4 
<-18 




11.4 [n=8] 


> 
> 

8.0 


4 
5 
7.3 

13.6 
46.2 


Nachtigall-Deposit, subsided 

ditto: top low-lying due to erosion 


72.5^ 82.4 




94.2 -> 99.0 
87.1^ 89.1 


19.2 [n=3] 


13.3 
6.7 


25.0 
8.7 


Younger Middle Terrace [Wehrden Niveau] 

-borehole KB 2/ 1998 
- borehole B 2 / 1998 
-borehole KB 3/ 1998 


87.07 
87.56 
89.12 


H-»-i} 

-0.7 
-0.1 
+ 1.4 


94.7 
95.3 
92.2 


l6.0[n=3] 


{ " 

I 2.8 


solifluction matter incl. "loess" 

"loess": [sandy] loess, partly reworked 


92.2 -> 99.0 




ground level 

exceeding that of 

Lower Terrace 


10.4 [n=10] 
2.5 [n=12] 


9.0 
2.0 


11.0 
3.1 


Lower Terrace 

ditto: top low-lying due to erosion and 
covered with floodplain loam 


76.2 -> 80.3 


{-11 --6} 
ca -9 


86.2 ^> 88.5 
84.5 -» 87.0 


ca9 
7.6 [n=33] 


5.0 


10.2 


floodplain loam [Holocene] 


84.5 -» 87.0 




[88.5?->]86.2[84.8] 


2.6[n=40] 


0.6 


3.5 


1] W0F: Water-level of over-bank flooding; corresponding to Mittleres Hochwasser 
MHW [ Mean annual highest water-level] 1941-1980, Weser-km 73-83 


88.5^ 84.8 





mapping experience both in the uplands of Lower Saxony 
with their fluvial terraces (e.g. Rohde 1989) and in the low- 
lands with their drift sediments and, moreover, in the bor- 
derland in between. For broad understanding the present ar- 
ticle refers to the MIS-system (Marine isotope stages) as has 
been taken into account by Litt et al. (2007). 

6 Geological setting: the solid rock 

The Nachtigall clay pit is situated at the western flank of the 
anticlinal structure "Solling-Gewolbe" built up by red beds 
of the Buntsandstein group (Germanic Lower Triassic) that 
comprises a clastic, pelitic sequence with evaporitic inter- 
beds in its upper portion (Fig. l). Only 0.7 km west of Nachti- 
gall pit shallow marine sediments of the Muschelkalk group 
(Germanic Middle Triassic) that overlays the Buntsandstein 
group are outcropping. The bottom of the Buntsandstein is 
built up by an Upper Permian (Zechstein) succession of ma- 
rine evaporites and carbonates underlain by Lower Permian 
(Rotliegend) red beds which rest unconformably on the fold- 
ed Variscan basement. 



After updoming of the Mesozoic sediment pile in the 
course of late Cretaceous to Tertiary times, the antecedent 
River Weser subsequently incised an isoclinal valley from 
late Tertiary to late Pleistocene in the zone between the 
western flank of the Buntsandstein-anticline and the out- 
cropping Lower Muschelkalk to the west of it. In the study 
area the Weser valley generally follows the strike of the Up- 
per Buntsandstein beds with pelites and evaporites easily to 
be eroded. 

Within the Upper Buntsandstein mudstone and evapor- 
ites, leaching processes have affected chloride and sulfate 
layers. The process started in the evaporite outcrop area at 
the western flank of the "Solling-Gewolbe" and successively 
prograded from east to west and from surface to subsurface 
according to the regional dip. The original evaporite thick- 
ness might have been up to approximately 100 m. 

Therefore in the western part of the present valley and on 
the adjacent hillside this general geological setting is compli- 
cated by a subrosion structure as a sediment-„trap" of Pleis- 
tocene age which cannot be recognized morphologically at 
the ground surface but which is reflected by the „trapped" 



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137 



m above 

sea- lqvel 



projected 
KB1 ^-^ B2 KB2 

S2 S5 




5,0 1 oo n 



//f 



qN 



//Lo 



//fl 



Recent time 

River Weser: water (mean water level) 

Holocene 

floodplain loam: organic silt 

Weichselian (and uppermost Saalian) 

Lower Terrace: gravel and sand of River Weser 

Weichselian (high-glacial time) 

loess, sandy loess, loess slope-wash: silt, fine and medium sand 

Weichselian and upper cold period of the Saalian Complex 
solifluction detritus: silt/sand (including loess etc )/clay with 
fragments of limestone/mud stone 



q(WE) 



qpi 



q(R) 



Saalian Complex, upper cold period 
Younger Middle Terrace (Wehrden-Niveau): 
gravel and sand of River Weser 

Saalian Complex, middle period including Nachtigall-Complex, 
warm, cool and interbedded cold climate deposits, subsided: 
lacustrine silt / clay, paludal organic silt / clay, peat 

Saalian Complex, lower cold period 
Older Middle Terrace (Reiherbach-Niveau), 
subsided: gravel and sand of River Weser 

Upper Buntsandstein: mudstone, gypsum residuals 
(at +130 m NN overlain by Lower Muschelkalk 
limestone [mu]) 



Fig. 4: MIS 7 Nachtigall interglacial deposits between Saalian Older Middle Terrace and Younger Middle Terrace of the River Weser in stack-position ('.not 
staircase-position). Cross section; main focus upon Nachtigall concession near Albaxen, NofHoxter, NW-Germany. Draft: Peter Rohde in 2008. As to the 
up-to-date stratification of KB 1 borehole profile see Kleinmann et al. (2011) and present paper, section 7.2. 

Abb. 4: Ablagerungen des MTStadium 7 mit Nachtigall-Interglazial. Vorkommen zwischen der Alteren und derjiingeren Weser-Mittelterrasse aus der 
Saale-Kaltzeit in Stapel-Lagerung (und nicht Treppen-Lagerung). Vertikaler Querschnitt, im Wesentlichen durch das Geldnde der Konzession Nachtigall 
bei Albaxen nbrdlich von Hoxter in NW-Deutschland. Entwurf: Peter Rohde i.J. 2008. Zur aktuellen Gliederung der Schichtenfolge in Bohrung KB 1 siehe 
Kleinmann et al. (2011) sowie Abschnitt 7.2 der vorliegenden Veroffentlichung. 



sediments („Albaxen subrosion structure", Fig. 1 and 2) and 
is dealt with in chapter 7. 

7 The Quaternary deposits within and adjacent to the 
subsided area 

The fossil subrosion structure is 5 km by 2 or 3 respectively, 
the long axis following the SSW-NNE trending Weser val- 
ley (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2; Rohde 2008). The Pleistocene depo- 
sitional environment comprises two different sedimentary 
complexes belonging to different morphological units. 

7.1 Today's valley floor 

This flat ground extends as far as the mainly Weichselian 
Lower Terrace and the Holocene flood plain (Fig. l). The 
surface level of the Lower Terrace is at +86.2 to +88.5 m NN, 
whereas that of the flood plain only is at 86.2 m on average 
(84.8-88.5 m; Table l). The top layers of the Lower Ter- 
race comprise 2 m, in some parts 3 m of sandy loess-like 
loam, deposited by a periglacial river in the braided river 
plain during a period of very low river activity. Yet in the 
flood plain there have been accumulated 2.5 m (min: 0.5 m, 
max: 3.5 m) of organic sandy or argillaceous silt, deposited 
as over-bank sediments during floods of the meandering 



Weser. Beneath both of them there are periglacial braided 
river sand and gravel of the Lower Terrace with a supposed 
base level of +76.2 to +80.3 m NN, that is 9 m below recent 
Water-level of over-bank flooding (WOF), on average. 

In a certain area similar sand and gravel are also found 
below this level (Fig. 2; Fig. 4: q(R)), in eight boreholes down 
to +71 m NN, and in a few boreholes still deeper, with a 
minimum value of +40.8 and possibly even +25.1 m NN. The 
resulting overall thickness of sand and gravel is 11.5 m on 
average and 46 m as maximum in comparison with 7.5 m 
concerning the Lower Terrace separately. This difference 
of thickness is explained by subsidence due to subrosion, 
the lower part of the sediment stack interpreted as Older 
Middle Terrace sediments (see below); the actual situation 
suggests deposition of only that series during subsidence of 
the bedrock beneath it. 

7.2 Today's hillside 

The subrosion structure is not confined to the valley floor, 
but westward also comprises the lower part of the hillside 
downhill the Muschelkalk escarpment and also includes the 
Nachtigall open cast pit. The surface of the slope is built up 
by loess and solifluction detritus (gelifluction detritus) of 
limestone and mudstone with thin slopewash intercalations 



138 



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Fig. 5: Temporary outcrop of Nachtigall 1 Interglacial with peats A, B, C and D. As to lithostratigraphy see chapter 9. Folding ruler 1 m. Photo Jochen Lep- 
per, 18 August 1998. Approximate thicknesses are: - peat (D) 1.40 m, upper part not visible, - clay and silt 1.90 m, - peat (C) 0.05 m, - clay and silt 1.00 m, 
- peat (B) 0.40 m, - clay and silt (lower part dark) 0.85 m, - peat (A) 1.30 m, lower part not visible. 

Abb. 5: Kurzzeitiger Aufschluss des Nachtigall 1 Interglazial mit den Torfen A, B, C and D. Zur Lithostratigraphie siehe Kapitel 9. Messstab 1 m. Foto 
Jochen Lepper, 18.8.1998. Die Machtigkeit der Schichten betragt etwa: -Torf(D) 1,40 m, oberer Teil nicht sichtbar, -Ton und Schluff 1,90 m, -Torf(C) 0,05 m, 
-Ton und Schluff 1,00 m, - Torf(B) 0,40 m, - Ton und Schluff (unterer Teil dunkel) 0,85 m, - Torf(A) 1,30 m, unterer Teil nicht sichtbar. 



of red, originally eolian sand. These periglacial sediments in 
the northern pit area are 9-11 m thick (Fig. 4, Tab. 1) and 
include an Eemian palaeosol of decalcification. They are 
down-dipping towards the adjacent valley floor in the east. 
In the open cast pit they overlie their substratum at an an- 
gular unconformity, as the substratum got trough-shaped by 
subrosion, and in its eastern part was tilted to the west and 
eroded at its former surface. 

Concerning the substratum up to 25 m of lacustrine silt, 
clay and mud are interbedded with several seams of slight- 
ly calciferous peat. In the recent quarry all these sediments 
(Fig. 5) are dipping in westerly directions towards the slope; 
the bedding would assign the investigated section to the 
eastern flank of a very shallow syncline if compared with 
the former subsurface mining area farther in the south. The 
interglacial, interstadial and included stadial layers, in bore- 
hole KB 1 core comprising 10 m of sediments, by A. Klein- 
mann have been termed Nachtigall-Succession (Kleinmann 
et al. 2011; see Chapter 9). The whole 13.5 m section stud- 
ied palynologically in KB 1 core by A. Kleinmann has been 
termed Nachtigall-Complex; it encloses 3.5 m of cold and 
cool climate lacustrine mud and fen peat in its upper part. 
- With additional cold climate lacustrine (7.22 m) and am- 
biguous lacustrine or slope sediments (4.28 m) the KB 1 core 
section is called Nachtigall-Deposit in the present paper 
(Tab. 1). 



In summary the terms used for sections of KB 1 core and 
in the present paper are 

Nachtigall-Succession: contains the deposits of intergla- 
cial / interstadial character (36.00-26.02 m); Nachtigall-Com- 
plex: strata with arboreal pollen >20%, i.e. at least „tree tun- 
dra" (36.00-22.50 m); Nachtigall-Deposit: contains peat and 
clay in terms of natural mineral resource (36.00-11.00 m). 

Within the Nachtigall-Succession and its lowest section, i.e. 
Nachtigall 1 Interglacial, the base of Allochthonous Unit I (cf. 
Chapter 9) includes dropstones of Weser characteristics with- 
out nordic material (pebbles 2-20 cm, sample K.D. Meyer, 
August 1998, analysis P. Rohde & J. Lepper, December 1998). 
Similarly the base of Allochthonous Unit II includes an erratic 
boulder of Swedish Dala quartzite (Grupe 1929: "Bohrung 4", 
meaning a shaft, but localisation regrettably not to be veri- 
fied). It must have been transported primarily by the Elsterian 
inland ice, then might have been deposited in Thuringia and 
ice drifted from there on a lake or by the river. Alternatively 
it might have been drifted directly from the north to Nach- 
tigall site on an Elsterian ice dammed lake (e.g. Winsemann 
et al. 2011; see also Chapter 10) and perhaps furthermore slid 
down at the slope above the pit area from an unknown El- 
sterian secondary deposit. The extraordinary lateral supply of 
mineral matter in warm climate periods still is worth discuss- 
ing (see Chapter 10). 

Adjacent to the present valley floor, the Nachtigall-Depos- 



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139 



w 


1 Photo — p 


" — - — -— 


. ~~~~£ a ~~~~^~~— — — _. 


— — ■ — —— -_ ~—^~ 


qw//fl ~~ —"--.- ~~~ ~ ~- 


- 


~— — — -__ \ 


// l-pal 


— — ■ — __ ^--_ --- -__ ' — — __ _\ 




// l-p a | ~~~~-- qs//fl ""~--~- ~ — — - q(WFl/Gr I 




\ _— — 771-pal ~ — — _ ~ — — — ----_ V- ~--^ afWEWsT \ 


\_-~___7~~~ "I-P8I ________ _-^^— ^Ciw_j7_^ 




_ — — — ■ — — . r. — — — —_ //l-pal ____--— 




— ' — — — — _ // l-pal 


1 



WEICHSELIAN 

//Lo Loess etc. (see Fig.4: //Lo) 



qw//fl 



qs//fl 



q(WE)/Gr 



q(WE)/S 



q(WE)/G 



// l-pal 



Solifluction detritus (see Fig.4: //fl) 

SAALIAN COMPLEX 

UPPER COLD PERIOD 
Solifluction detritus (see Fig.4: //fl) 

YOUNGER MIDDLE TERRACE 
(Wehrden Niveau, cf. Fig.4: q(WE)) 
Limestone debris (from hillside) and 
sand (Weser) 

Sand (Weser), partly cross-bedded 



Gravel and sand (Weser) 

MIDDLE PERIOD TO UPPER COLD PERIOD 
Lacustrine and paludal silt / clay 




Fig. 6: Younger Middle Terrace deposits interfingering with solifluction detritus. Quarry face, autumn 2011. Drawing: - left margin R 35 27 760, 
H 57 41 690, elevation +108.7 m NN, height above bottom 16.4 m, - right margin R 35 27 875, H 57 41 685, elevation +103.5 m NN, - width 115 m. 
Photo: - left margin R 35 27 790, H 57 41 700, elevation +107.3m NN, - width 85 m. Above numerical data approximate only. Folding rule in middle of photo: 
1 m; at right margin: 2 m. Photos Jochen Lepper, 7 Oct. and 30 Nov. 2011. Photo interpretation Peter Rohde. For the first time the quarry face exposes the 
complete overburden stack of the Nachtigall-Deposit in a W-E section, appr. hundred meters south of section AB (Fig. 3, Fig. 4). 

Abb. 6: Ablagerungen der Jiingeren Mittelterrasse, verzahnt mit Solifluktionsschutt. Grubenwand, Herbst 2011. Zeichnung: - linker Rand R 35 27 760, 
H57 41 690, Gelande +108,7 m NN, Wandhohe 16,4 m, - rechter Rand R 35 27 875, H 57 41 685, Gelande +103,5 m NN, - Wandlange 1 15 m. 
Foto: - linker Rand R 35 27 790, H 57 41 700, Gelande +107,3 m NN, - Wandlange 85 m. Alle Lage-Angaben als Circa-Werte. Messstab im Foto, Mitte: 1 m; 
rechter Rand: 2 m. Fotos Jochen Lepper, 7.10. und 30.11.2011. Foto-Auswertung Peter Rohde. Erstmals erschliefit die Grubenwand die vollstandige Schich- 
tenfolge uber der Nachtigall-Lagerstdtte in einem W~E-Schnitt etwa 100 m siidlich des Schnitts AB (Abb. 3, Abb. 4). 



it partially was eroded at the top. Forming an angular uncon- 
formity, the erosion surface partially has been covered by 
up to 8 m - or perhaps more - of fluvial gravel and sand at- 
tributed to the younger Saalian Weser terrace (Younger 
Middle Terrace or Wehrden-Niveau, Table 1, Fig. 4, Fig. 5; 
Rohde 1989). The strata have not been dislocated, their base 
level is at +87 to +89 m NN (Grupe 1929: geol. Map), i.e. mi- 
nus 0.7 m to plus 1.4 m relative to WOF. These dates are in 
accordance with results of a reference survey (Rohde 1989). 
Partially the sediments interfinger with the solifluction de- 
tritus mentioned above. Later, the fluvial gravel and sand 
were covered with different periglacial sediments, which 
also capped the western, less or not eroded part of the Nach- 
tigall-Deposit. 

In KB 1 borehole above the Nachtigall-Deposit no flu- 
vial, but only sediments of the slope were encountered 
(Fig. 4). In contrast KB 2 core drilling revealed Younger 
Middle Terrace sediments top-down consisting of: 
1.9 m medium-grained sand with silt, fine sand, coarse 

sand, little fine grit, red brown, fluvial (Weser) 
5.7 m gravel, with sand and coarse pebbles, red to grey, 

fluvial (Weser). 



This succession is typical for a fluvial sediment series 
formed during periglacial conditions. 

The Nachtigall-Deposit is underlain by fluvial gravel and 
sand assigned to the older Saalian Weser terrace (Older 
Middle Terrace or Reiherbach-Niveau, Table 1; Roh- 
de 1989). By the pit-extension drillings its base was not 
reached, lying deeper than +74 m to +70 m NN. In the 
valley-floor where this gravel and sand are also found 
their base might be at about +41 m NN minimum (or even 
+25 m NN, see above). 

7.3 Basin structure and development 

The two morphological elements, that means valley floor 
and hillside (section 7.1, section 7.2), are divided by a young 
scarp at the foot of the hillside (Fig. 4: 10 m east of KB 2 
borehole) and close to it by an escarpment visible as steep 
western river bank and extending down below the river 
surface (Fig. 4: 80 m east of KB 2). Both faces are due to flu- 
vial downcutting. The latter, being the older one, originated 
when the Lower Terrace river formed the deep incision and 
the wide periglacial braided river plain at the end of the 



mo 



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Saalian period. The former resulted from partial erosion of 
the Lower Terrace sediment stack near to its former surface 
at late-glacial time. 

Yet the overall structure is complex. Information from 
outcrops, boreholes and from the geological map especially 
of the pit area suggest that subsidence by subrosion affected 
only the Older Middle Terrace and the Nachtigall-Deposit. 
Faults (Fig. 1, Fig. 2) are supposed to have been effective as 
slides during subsidence. At least partially they may have 
been caused by subrosion. Only the aforementioned sedi- 
ments were dislocated. There are neither indications of sub- 
sidence concerning Elsterian deposits (Tab. 1; Rohde 1989: 
Lauenforde Niveau; Grupe 1929: geol. Map: Obere Terrasse 
between +120 m and +132 m NN) nor are there indications 
concerning the sediments of Younger Middle Terrace and of 
Lower Terrace and of the periglacial slope deposits. In the 
valley floor, larger differences of thickness of Pleistocene 
deposits beneath the Holocene flood plain also must be ex- 
plained by subsidence. There, this process exclusively has af- 
fected the Older Middle Terrace sediments underlying the 
Lower Terrace sediments in great parts. Towards the east, 
beneath floodplain loam and Lower Terrace gravel and sand, 
the preservation of Older Middle Terrace deposits by subro- 
sion is fading away. It is important to note that Older Middle 
Terrace sediments subsided by subrosion have been identi- 
fied at several sites of the Weser valley, so near Polle, Boden- 
werder and maybe also near Hameln (Thiem, Fleig, Kliem 
partly joint in Rohde ir Thiem 1998: 116, 120, 141; besides 
orally by W. Thiem). 

As to maximum subsidence there is no validated evi- 
dence. From three dates of Older Middle Terrace sediments 
a subsidence of ca 65 m, perhaps even of ca 78 m, relating 
to their undisturbed base level in an upper Weser reference 
survey by Rohde (1989) are worth being considered. 

Generally the base of the Quaternary deposits seems to 
be irregular as a result of different degrees of subrosion. 
There might exist various sinking centers within the ba- 
sin. Tracing a contour map of the base of the Quaternary 
sediments in a coherent manner regrettably remains left till 
additional boreholes provide less scattered and less discon- 
tinuous data distribution. 

7 A Postscript findings in autumn 2011 

The advance of the open cast work to the north of the pit 
area made possible studying the complete overburden 
stack of the Nachtigall-Deposit in a vertical and straight 
quarry face for the first time. The study corroborates prin- 
cipally the borehole data evaluation as presented in the 
cross section of Fig. 4. Beyond that, explicitly examined it 
reveals the onlapping superposition of younger units on 
deformed and hill-ward dipping clay/silt layers of Nachti- 
gall-Deposit. On an erosive basal face the onlapping units 
comprise horizontal Younger Middle Terrace gravel and 
sand in the east as well as the lowest solifluction unit in the 
west. Most instructive to see how the younger fluvial sedi- 
ments are directly supplied by limestone debris, that have 
been transported downslope by periglacial solifluction. 
The overlying fluvial red sand displays evidently that the 
periglacial fluvial activity weakened in the final stages as 
generally is known from the latest phase of terrace build- 



ing accumulation, e.g. concerning Lower Terrace top layers 
(Rohde & Becker-Platen 1998: 42; 2002: 106). Fig. 6 sum- 
marizes our supplementary findings. It displays the quarry 
face in direction of the hill slope and across the strike of 
the clay deposits, as exposed in autumn 2011. It refers to 
section 2 of chapter 7 and supports evidently the suggested 
synthesis. The drawing is based on reconnaissance exami- 
nation in the pit, supplemented by a relevant photo evalu- 
ation. 

At the time mentioned the brickworks being in liquida- 
tion, the outcrop is in risk to get lost, unfortunately. 

8 Discussion: Younger Middle Terrace 

The Younger Middle Terrace seems to be a weakly devel- 
oped geologic and hardly to distinguish morphologic ele- 
ment. It might be overlooked therefore in most cases. Its 
base in staircase position is minus 4 m (to minus 1 m) rela- 
tive to WOF mapped by a reference survey (Rohde 1989). 
That implies only ca 5 m of difference to the base of the 
Lower Terrace and a position lower than the Lower Terrace 
surface. Like the sediment package of the Older Middle Ter- 
race it is one of the geological units that build up the slope 
along the side of a recent valley. Consequently its surface 
lying at the bottom of a slope is hidden by slope deposits 
and / or loess. Possibly in upland positions Younger Middle 
Terrace deposits with a rather low surface level escape the 
geologist's notice at the edge of the Lower Terrace or are 
visible only in outcrops. 

Thus field mapping is in risk not to discern the depos- 
its where both terraces really are existing and then simply 
defines a mapping unit , Middle Terrace' in the sense of the 
common Older Middle Terrace, the more so as this is sup- 
posed to be the main Saalian fluvial formation in Lower Sax- 
ony (yet Wansa in Litt et al. 2007: 38). If the sediments of 
different terraces occur as stack, as is the case due to subro- 
sion (W. Thiem concerning Weser valley: Thiem 1988; Rohde 
ir Thiem 1998) and generally is the case in lowland regions, 
they might be complete, but inevitably are difficult to iden- 
tify in case they lack interbedded interglacial deposits. 

9 Conclusion: MIS 8 -, MIS 7 - and prior to Saalian inland 
glaciation MIS 6 -deposits 

The fluvial deposits of the two Middle Terraces have to 
be assigned stratigraphically to pre-Drenthe-stadial pe- 
riods of the Saalian Complex (Litt ir Turner 1993, Litt 
et al. 2007). In and around Nachtigall pit the deposits match 
the stratigraphic units as tabulated below (Tab. 2). 

The direct contact of the sediments which in Tab. 2 are 
accentuated by heavy print, contrasts with common ter- 
race staircases in uplands; this fact must be emphasized 
sufficiently. In their special position demonstrated in Fig. 4, 
the two terraces corroborate that the Nachtigall-Succession 
with its interglacial and stadial layers has been deposited 
during Marine Isotope Stage 7 (MIS 7) and neither during 
the Holsteinian (MIS 9e, Geyh ir Muller 2005) nor during 
the Eemian (MIS 5e) interglacial periods. The correlation of 
the Holsteinian interglacial alternatively to MIS 11 cannot 
be discussed here. 

As has been mentioned the fluvial activity leading to the 



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111 



Tab. 2: Deposits of Nachtigall site matched to the stratigraphic scheme for North Germany. Loess and solifluction deposits 

(Weichselian, Warthe and period of Younger Middle Terrace) omitted. 

Wehrden Niveau, Reiherbach Niveau: according to Rohde 1989. 

Bouchet 2, Bouchet 3: according to Beaulieu et al. 2001 and others (see chapter 9). 

N. Nachtigall 

1} deposits subsided by subrosion. 

Tab. 2: Schichteinheiten im Gebiet der Grube Nachtigall im stratigraphisches Schema fur Nord-Deutschland. 

Loss und Solifluktionsablagerungen (Weichsel-Kaltzeit und Warthe-Stadium und Zeit der Jiingeren Mittelterrasse) nicht einbezogen. 

Wehrden-Niveau, Reiherbach-Niveau: nach Rohde (1989). 

Bouchet 2, Bouchet 3: nach Beaulieu et al. 2001 und weiteren (s. Kap. 9). 

N Nachtigall 

jj Ablagerung durch Subrosion abgesenkt. 



NORTH GERMANY 

Litt et al. 2007, with regard to ongoing discussion 
modified according to proposal of Kleinmann et al. 2011 


NACHTIGALL SITE 


Weichselian 


MIS2-5d 


cold period with interstadials 


Lower Terrace 


Eemian 


MIS5e 


Interglacial 


[decalcification on slope] 


Saalian Complex 


MIS 6 


Warthe- + 

Drenthe- 

Stadium 




[? Lower Terrace, older part] 


[glaciation] 




cold stage 
[?Delitzsch-Phase] 

with interstadials 


Younger Middle Terrace 

[Wehrden Niveau] 


Stadial of N. -Deposit [[ 
Stadials + 5 Interstadials of 
N. -Complex/ -Deposit \ 


MIS 7a 


warm stage [cf. Velay, 
France: Bouchet 3] 


Nachtigall 
Succession (| 

[i.e. lower part of 
N. -Complex / 
lowest part of 
N. -Deposit] 


N.2lnter- 
stadial 


MIS 7b 


cool stage 


Albaxen 
Stadial 


MIS 7c 


Interglacial [cf. Velay, 
France: Bouchet 2] 


N.llnter- 
alacial 


MIS7d, e 


[cool stage, warm stage] 




MIS 8 


cold stage 


Older Middle Terrace 

[Reiherbach Niveau] \ 


MIS9a-d 


[2 warm, 2 cool stages] 




Holsteinian 


MIS9e 


[Interglacial] 




Elsterian 


MIS ID 


cold period 






[glaciation] 






youngest Upper Terrace 



accumulation of the Younger Middle Terrace occurred be- 
fore the Drenthe-stadial ice had covered northern Germa- 
ny. For the time in question temperature and dust records 
from Antarctica suggest a span between ca 190 (200) and 
160 ka b.p. (temperature-against-time-graph of Vostok ice 
core, see Petit et al. 1999, Petit et al. 2000). 

On the basis of palynological and sedimentological stud- 
ies in KB 1 core, A. Kleinmann distinguished the following 
units (Kleinmann et al. 2011): 

Nachtigall 1 Interglacial, 36.0-28.60 m, corresponding 
to Bouchet 2 in the Velay sequence (Beaulieu et al. 2001, 
Reille et al. 2000, Tzedakis et al. 1997) and to MIS 7c. The 



warm period sediments consist of peat, clay and mud with 
intercalated layers of allochthonous material: 

peat A 36.00-34.70 (Grupe 1929: Unterfloz des Haupt- 

torflagers) 

Allochthonous Unit (I) 34.70-33.85 

peat B and lacustrine clay / mud 33.85-33.25 (Grupe 1929: 

Oberfloz des Haupttorflagers) 

Allochthonous Unit (II) 33.25-30.00, with peat C at 

32.00-31.97 m 

peatD 30.00-28.60. 



112 



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Albaxen Stadial, 28.60-27.05 m, corresponding to Bonne- 
fond in the Velay sequence and to MIS 7b. 

Nachtigall 2 Interstadial, 27.05-26.02 m, corresponding to 
Bouchet 3 in the Velay sequence and to MIS 7a. At 27.00- 
26.54 it contains dark clay (organogenic layer E). 

Stadials 1-5, 26.02-22.50 m, separated by the minor Inter- 
stadials 1-4, corresponding to Costaros in the Velay se- 
quence and to the beginning of MIS 6. 

Dating of core samples from KB 1 borehole by TIMS 
230 Th/U method yielded the following isochron corrected ag- 
es (Waas, Kleinmann & Lepper 2010): 

227 +9 / -8 ka for birch fen peat sample 34.87-34.83 m (closed 

system within peat A) 

201 +15 / -13 ka for brown moss peat sample 33.63-33.47 m 

(closed system within peat B) 

206 ±6 ka for fen peat sample 28.90-28.82 m (closed system 

within peat D). 

An attempt at dating the clay sample 26.8-26.7 m with 
ca 15 % organic matter (organogenic layer E) yielded an age 
177 ±8 ka which seems to be not consistent with the palyno- 
logical results, a higher age being expected. 

As a result of these contemporary research activities by 
three-way approach, the warm climate deposits of Nachtigall 
pit, known since a long time, actually have to be assigned 
to MIS 7 warm stage periods. The present study contributes 
lithostratigraphic aspects: directly subjacent as well as di- 
rectly overlying gravel deposits represent Older Middle Ter- 
race and Younger Middle Terrace respectively and thus also 
establish the age of the Nachtigall warm climate deposits as 
mid-Saalian MIS 7. 

10 Further tasks 

Allochthonous Unit I as well as Allochthonous Unit II of 
Nachtigall-Complex (Chapter 7.2, Chapter 9) have equiva- 
lents in the succession of Gottingen-Geismar, Ottostrafie, 
50 km away from Nachtigall pit (Gruger et al. 1994; Klein- 
mann et al. 2011, mentioning this correlation as orally 
communicated by Helmut Miiller in or just before 2007). 
The respective sections with their striking amounts of min- 
eral matter from the slope occur at the same palynostrati- 
graphic positions during warm climate. Catastrophic rain- 
falls during the periods in question might have torn open 
the plant cover at slopes and thus made possible the anom- 
alous mass transport (Kleinmann et al. 2011). Apparently 
the events on which the contemporaneity is based were 
not triggered by seismic activities: there is no evidence 
of earthquakes in sedimentological record, and in fact the 
palynological record even revealed certain vegetational 
developments in Allochthonous Unit I and Allochthonous 
Unit II (A. Kleinmann, orally). A conclusive explanation of 
the circumstances that determined the contemporaneity of 
the peculiar sedimentation at both sites seems to be worth 
further study. 

By their climatic conditions of accumulation the Nach- 
tigall warm and cool climate deposits are expected to 



yield archaeological finds that have not been taken into 
account so far. 

As to lithostratigraphy it is an open question, how the 
inland ice influenced sedimentation at the study site from 
its margin about 20 km in the north. We have to assume 
that ice dammed lakes covered the upper valley of the Riv- 
er Weser (glacial Lake Weserbergland, Wortmann 1998; 
glacial Lake Weser, Winsemann et al. 2009, 2011). The sur- 
face of the Drenthe valley floor might have been at a level 
of about +95 m NN at the least, being formed by the Young- 
er Middle Terrace. Up to now glaciolacustrine finegrained 
sediments or delta or subaqueous fan deposits have not 
been identified in or around Nachtigall pit. - According to 
Grupe (1929) an erratic boulder of Swedish Dala quartzite 
was found in the pit area, beneath 0.5 m of Weser gravel 
and 17.4 m of "clay" with some peat layers at a depth of 
23.9 m. Yet it was interbedded in allochthonous deposits of 
Nachtigall 1 Interglacial and not in glacial sediments (cf. 
Chapter 7.2). 

A fundamental stratigraphic detail is concerning the 
base of the Lower Terrace deposits. This means the ques- 
tion whether the Weser as a braided river formed the deep 
incision and the wide periglacial valley plain by downcut- 
ting really during the deglaciation at the end of the Saalian 
Complex. Subsequently still prior to the Eemian interglacial 
the Lower Terrace aggradation started during cold and wet 
climate and continued after the interglacial. This model ap- 
plies accordingly to older terraces (Wortmann 1968, Wort- 
mann & Wortmann 1987, Bridgland 1994, Schreve 2004, 
McNabb 2007). On closer inspection the very important 
process of downcutting already may have been initiated as 
fluvial response to sea level lowering prior to the advance 
of the inland ice. This model may be inferred from Elsterian 
fluvial and fluvioglacial deposits („Flufirinnen-Schichten") 
in the former Weser valley in and near Hannover (Rohde 
1983, 1994, Rohde & Becker-Platen 1998: 38f., 138f, 34f.). 

In Memoriam 

This work has been accomplished in reverence for Helmut 
Miiller (20 July 1924 - 18 June 2008) who opened the palaeo- 
botanical secrets of the Nachtigall deposits and stratigraphi- 
cally assigned them to a still incompletely known mid-Saal- 
ian warm stage. 

Acknowledgements 

Mr. Robert Buch generously granted the permission to 
publish the geoscientific data from exploration boreholes 
of the Buch brickworks company at Hoxter-Albaxen and 
from our studies in the pit. Angelika Kleinmann and Deniz 
Waas agreed to take the sedimentological and radiometric 
part of the project; Mrs. Kleinmann also agreed to continue 
the palynological work of Helmut Miiller. From among 
our Hannoverean colleagues Klaus-Dieter Meyer contrib- 
uted to some extent to the field work and Mebus A. Geyh, 
just as Jutta Winsemann, Hannover, visited the pit. Each 
of them, likewise Eberhard Gruger, Gottingen, and our 
colleague Josef Merkt were readily critical dialogue part- 
ners. - Jochen Farrenschon, Krefeld, cooperatively assist- 
ed us in communicating with the state geological survey 



EBG / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 133-115 / D0I 10.3285/eg.61.2.D2 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



113 



Geologischer Dienst Nordrhein-Westfalen. - Stephan 
Dreher and Guntram Herrendorf provided assistance in 
electronic data processing. - Hansjorg Streif contributed 
comprehensive and detailed advice to improve the manu- 
script, and Julia Knowles proofread the English text as a na- 
tive speaker. Finally two reviewers gave helpfully construc- 
tive comments. To all of them we express our gratitude. 

Abbreviations 

ka b.p. Kilo annos (thousand years) before present (1950) 
MIS Marine isotope stage (warm or cold stage of Qua- 
ternary period, established by temperature-de- 
pendent 18 0/ 16 oxygen isotopes ratio of marine 
calcareous microfossil shells [foraminifers] or gla- 
cier ice). Alternative notation: MI stage. In general 
odd numbers are applied for warmer stages, even 
numbers for colder stages 
NN German Ordnance datum (Landkarten-Bezugshohe 

Normal Null) 
OMT Older Middle Terrace (older Saalian fluvial terrace) 
TIMS Thermal ionisation mass spectrometry 
WOF Water-level of over-bank flooding. Correspond- 
ingly: level of younger alluvial clay (Jiingerer Aue- 
lehm). Also correspondingly: 30/40 years mean 
annual highest water-level (Mittleres Hochwasser 
MHW 1941-70/80) 

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145 



E&G 



Quaternary Science Journal 

Volume Gl / Number 2 / 2012 / 146-155 / DOI 10.3285/eg. 61. 2. 03 
www.quaternary-science.net 



GEOZON SCIENCE MEDIA 
ISSN 0424-7116 



Interrelation of geomorphology and fauna of Lavrado region in 
Roraima, Brazil - suggestions for future studies 



Thiago Morato de Carvalho, Celso Morato de Carvalho 



How to cite: 



Abstract: 



Kurzfassung: 



Keywords: 



Carvalho, T. M., Carvalho, C. M. (2012): Interrelation of geomorphology and fauna of Lavrado region in Roraima, Brazil - sug- 
gestions for future studies. - E&G Quaternary Science Journal, 61 (2): 146-158. DOI: 10.3285/eg.61.2.03 

The authors discuss the relevance of geomorphology and biology interaction under the concepts of the Brazilian morphoclimatic 
domains. The discussion is focused on biogeographical and ecological aspects. The open areas of Roraima - the lavrado - localized 
between Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana, in the Northern portion of the Amazon morphoclimatic domain, is the region where the 
present case study was carried out. Remote sensing techniques were applied to determine the relief and field biology characteriza- 
tion. The generated products were useful for describing the habitats and local distribution of the lavrado's fauna. 

Die Wechselbeziehung von Geomorphologie und Fauna in der Lavrado Region in Roraima, Brasilien: Vorschlage fur zukiinf- 
tigeStudien 

In der vorgelegten Arbeit wird die Abhangigkeit von Geomorphologie und biologischen Interaktion unter Verwendung des Kon- 
zeptes morphoklimatischer Regionen Brasiliens vorgestellt. Die Diskussion fokussiert hierbei auf biogeographische und okologische 
Aspekte. Die vorgelegte Studie wurde in den offenen Bereichen von Roraima - Lavrado - zwischen Brasilien, Venezuela und Gu- 
yana durchgefiihrt. Dieses Gebiet liegt im nordlichen Teil der morphoklimatischen Region Amazoniens. Zur Anwendung kamen 
Techniken der Fernerkundung, um das Relief der Region zu ermitteln und biologische Charakterisierungen durchzufiihren. Die 
hierdurch erzielten Ergebnisse wurden genutzt, um Lebensraume der Region und die Verteilung der Lavrado Fauna zu beschreiben. 

Biogeomorphology, Amazon morphoclimatic domain, Roraima, lavrado 



Addresses of authors: Thiago Morato de Carvalho*, Celso Morato de Carvalho**, National Institute of Amazonian Research (Instituto National de 
Pesquisas da Amazonia - INPA) Boa Vista, Roraima, Brazil. ZipCode 69301-150. *tmorato@infonet.com.br; **cmorato@inpa. gov.br 



1 Introduction 



On a geomorphological viewpoint, the Amazon rainforest 
can be characterized by its lowland relief and extensive for- 
ested areas, by the dichotomy between main allochthonous 
and small autochthonous rivers, as well as combining latosol 
and podzol low fertility soils. The annual thermal range is 
relatively homogeneous, 24°C to 26°C; the rainfall is hetero- 
geneous, 1750 to 2300 mm/year, outside the Andes, which 
is around 7000 mm/year; and the vegetation is a complex 
net distributed over periodically flooded forest and upland, 
vdrzea and terra firme respectively (Victoria et al. 2000; 
Ab'Saber 2003). These combined geomorphological fea- 
tures form an area of approximately 7 million km 2 , called 
the Amazon morphoclimatic domain. What in Brazil we call 
a morphoclimatic domain is an area of sub-continental di- 
mensions, with characteristic patterns of relief, drainage, cli- 
mate, soils and vegetation (Ab'Saber 1967). 

One important feature of the Amazon morphoclimatic 
domain is the physiognomy of its vegetation, which can be 
open (scrubs, herbs and small trees) or closed (tall trees, with 



some emerging). Taking only this aspect into account, the 
open areas that occur in the Amazon region can be quite 
similar to those occurring in other domains, for example, the 
open vegetation of cerrado in the Central Brazilian ecosys- 
tem, the Bolivian Chaco or the lhanos in Venezuela. How- 
ever, there are many ecological and physiological differences 
between these open formations, such as floristic composi- 
tion, soil formation, geomorphological genesis, drainage and 
climate (Vanzolini & Carvalho 1991; Eiten 1992, 1994). 

We can focus on this physiognomic dichotomous prop- 
erty of the Amazon vegetation with different lenses, depend- 
ing of the goal. From the biogeographical viewpoint, for in- 
stance, these two morphological aspects of vegetation, open 
and closed areas, are important for understanding the distri- 
bution of organisms, principally when we consider the pul- 
sation of the forest over the last 20.000 years - the open areas 
entering the forest during the Pleistocene glacial dry periods 
and the expansion of the forest during the interglacial wet 
periods throughout South American ecosystems (Vanzolini 
1988; Ab'Saber 1977; Pessenda et al. 2009). 

In the Brazilian Amazon there are expressive open veg- 



116 



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2 The case study area 



Fig. 1: Examples of open areas within the Amazon morphoclimatic domain. 
1 - Roraima, Venezuela and Guyana. 2 - Amapa state, Brazil. A - Monte 
Roraima; B - Branco River; C - Lacustrine Systems; D - Serra da Lua; E - 
Serra Marari; F - Maracd Island; G - Serra do Tepequem. 

Abb. 1: Beispiele von Freiflachen innerhalb der morphoklimatischen Region 
Amazonas. 1 - Roraima, Venezuela und Guyana. 2 - Bundesstaat Amapa, 
Brasilien. A - Monte Roraima; B - Branco River; C - Lacustrine Systems; 
D - Serra da Lua; E - Serra Marari; F - Maracd Island; G - Serra do 
Tepequem. 



etation areas in the states of Para, Amapa and Roraima, oc- 
curring as enclaves inside extensive forested areas (MuRgA- 
Pires 1974; Carvalho 2009; Vanzolini 1992) and along the 
major rivers, such as the Trombetas (Egler 1960), Negro 
(Ducke ir Blake 1953), in the mouth of the Tapajos (Rad- 
ambrasil 1975) and in the Madeira (MuRgA-PiRES 1974). 
These open areas comprise several landscapes, such as plains, 
plateaus, hills and mountains. Associated with these geo- 
morphological features there occur the scrubs, herbs, grasses 
and cactacean adapted to these physical formations, consti- 
tuting very particular habitats where can live and reproduce 
different species of animals. 

The most relevant fact concerning the distribution of ani- 
mals and plants is that they are not randomly distributed 
along their areas of occurrence; on the contrary, there are 
specific habitats where they can live. In this way, it is our 
thought that: i) biological aspect concerning the distribution 
of organisms among the various habitats that form ecosys- 
tems cannot be understood without the understanding of the 
physical structure of these habitats, ii) this comprehension 
can be given by a geomorphological approach. 

The rational of our thought is tied to the concepts estab- 
lishing that the distribution of organisms reflects their sets 
of adaptations to the immediate environment, a concept 
known as ecological niche (Vanzolini 1970; Pianka 1994). 
This idea is the soul of classical studies approaching biol- 
ogy (zoogeography) and geomorphology, which were car- 
ried out by Vanzolini ir Williams (1970), Vanzolini (1970, 
1981) and Ab'Saber (1967), currently incremented by news 
geoprocessing techniques (Carvalho ir Ramirez 2008; Car- 
valho 2009a; Metzger 1997). 

In this context, the aim of the present study is focused on 
the landscape and habitats that occur in open areas inside the 
Amazon region. The scenario of this discussion encompass- 
ing the field of biogeomorphology comprises three ways: i) 
concepts of morphoclimatic domains and biogeography, ii) 
the case study of a very interesting open area known as la- 
vrado, situated in the Northern Amazon region - the Brazil- 
ian state of Roraima, hi) use of geoprocessing techniques for 
identifying and describing habitats. 



The general region described in this report (Fig. l), com- 
prised in the Guyana Shield (Hammond 2005), is a very pe- 
culiar open area of some 69.000 km 2 , mostly situated in the 
northern portion of the Amazon morphoclimatic domain, 
overlying three countries. We estimate, by remote sensing, 
that this area covers some 45.000 km 2 in the Brazilian state of 
Roraima, 10.000 km 2 in Venezuela and 14.000 km 2 in Guyana. 

In Venezuela this portion of open areas is about 1200-1600 
meters above sea level. It is characterized by the presence of 
ruiniform tabular mountains, individually called tepuy. The 
tepuyes are part of a geomorphological formation known 
in Venezuela as Gran Sabana. In the Brazilian territory the 
best known tepuy is the Roraima Mount (05°ll'S, 60 o 49'W), 
around 2800 meters high, situated on the triple border of 
Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana. We do not consider this Ven- 
ezuelan region to be part of the Amazon morphoclimatic do- 
main (see Ab'Saber 2003). 

In the Guyana region this Northern Amazon open area is 
mostly situated on the basin of the Rupununi River, an afflu- 
ent of the main Guyanese river, the Essequibo. This open ar- 
ea, locally known as Rupununi Savanna, is separated by the 
Tacutu River. This river, that forms the border of Brazil and 
Guyana, runs in a geological fissure from South to North, 
where it turns westward to flow into the Uraricoera River 
in Brazil (approximately at 03°01'N, 60°28'W), both rivers 
forming the Branco, which flows southward into the Negro 
River in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. 

In the Brazilian portion, the state of Roraima, this area 
is known as lavrado, an old Portuguese term for open veg- 
etation (Vanzolini ir Carvalho 1991; Carvalho 2009). The 
lavrado has its own socio-cultural and ecological identity, 
integrated by complex networks of interactions among the 
local people with the landscape, and by a characteristic local 
fauna and flora adapted to the lavrado ecosystem (Nasci- 
mento 1998). 

This open area is formed by peculiar geomorphological 
features, such as boulders, alluvial plains, lakes and gallery 
forests along the rivers. Isolated patches of forest, scrubs and 
herbs, are present throughout the area. Gallery forests oc- 
cur in the banks of the rivers. These features form the lavra- 
do habitats, harboring many species of plants and animals, 
whose biological aspects of their distribution along these re- 
gional habitats are also focused in this study. 



3 Material and Methods 
3.1 Geomorphology 



To describe the morphology of the case study relief we used 
remote sensing techniques (hypsometry, shaded relief, topo- 
graphic profiles and RGB composition) from elevations mod- 
el of SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) and Landsat 
5 images. The elevation model from SRTM is a radar image, 
acquired by interferometry method in 2001 for entire globe, 
used for geomorphometrics analysis of the terrain. 

The software ENVI 4.3 was used to resize the SRTM data 
to 30 meters, by interpolation, from original spatial resolu- 
tion of 90 meters. This digital elevation model was important 
to identify the different altimetry values, and the morphol- 
ogy of denudation forms (ranges and hills) using shaded re- 



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117 




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-Fig. 2: Roraima, topographic transects profiles a-a' to c-c'; Venezuela - Roraima, transect D. 
Abb. 2: Roraima, topographische Transekte a-a' to c-c'; Venezuela -Roraima, Transekt D. 



lief and topographic profiles techniques. The optical images 
of Landsat 5 are mostly used for environmental studies, with 
30 meters spatial resolution, and were used for identifying 
agradational morphologies, like fluvial plains, lakes and veg- 
etation aspects by visual interpretation. 

The Landsat 5 images RGB composition was applied 
in ENVI 4.3, using bands 5,4 and 3. The Landsat 5 images 
were achieved in 2005, from December to April, which cor- 
responds to dry season (without clouds), patch-rows were 
232(56,57,58); 231(57,58). These images were acquired at the 
National Institute of Spatial Research (INPE) - www.dgi, 
inpe.br/CDSR/ - and Embrapa Relevo - www.relevobr.cnpm. 
embrapa.br/. 

3.2 Fauna examples 

Case study of faunal elements, in the present context, were 
determined through field work conducted by the Instituto 
Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia (National Institute of 
Amazonian Research - INPA) in Roraima throughout the 
past two decades, mainly on the lavrado area (see Carvalho 



2009). We take as examples the vertebrate fauna of the area, 
mainly aspects of its distribution along the habitats com- 
prised by geomorphological features determined through 
geoprocessing techniques (Figures 8, 9, 10). 

4 Results and Discussion 

4.1 Geomorphological features of the lavrado: remote 

sensing 

One can see the position and topographic profile of the la- 
vrado and adjacent forested areas just looking at the region 
through transects, for example covering the forests of the 
West portion of Roraima up to the open areas in the East, 
or covering part of the Venezuelan Gran Sabana, until the 
lavrado areas (Fig. 2). At the same way, through transects 
(Fig. 3) we can see the main features of the relief, like high 
altitudes (more than 1500 meters high), with tabular relief 
(tepuys), agradational and denudational processes, moder- 
ated dissection and low structural control (Fig. 3 "l"); inter- 
mediary altitude, somewhat of 500-1500 m, with denuda- 
tional processes, high dissection and strong structural con- 



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Fig. 3: 1 - Mount Roraima, moderate relief dissection, border of Venezuela 
and Brazil (05°11'N, 60°49'W); 2 - Serra Marari, moderate to strong dis- 
sected relief (04°16'N, 60°46'W); 3 - Uraricoera River, low relief dissec- 
tion (03°19'N, 60°25'W); 4 - Serra da Lua, low and strong relief dissection 
(02°27'N, 60°28'W). 

Abb. 3: 1 - Mount Roraima, moderate Reliefzergliederung an der Grenze 
zu Venezuela und Brasilien (05°11 'N, 60°49 'W); 2 - Serra Marari, mafiige 
bis starke Reliefzergliederung (04°16'N, 60°46 , W); 3 - Uraricoera River, 
niedrige Reliefzergliederung (03°19'N, 60°25"W); 4 - Serra da Lua, niedrige 
und starke Reliefzergleiderung (02°27'N, 60°28'W). 



trol (Fig. 3 "2"); low sedimentary plains, around 70-100 m, 
with agradational processes like fluvial plains and lacustrine 
systems (Fig. 3 "3"); and isolated hills, inselbergs, with struc- 
tural control (Fig. 3 "4"). 

In contrast with the high elevation of the Venezuelan 
Gran Sabana, the elevation of the lavrado area is relatively 
low, around 70-200 m a.s.l. This area is drained by the Bran- 
co River, which is composed by a system of low hills, with 
low dissected relief, isolated residual peaks (inselbergs), sur- 
rounded by lakes in the headwaters, the flowing of which 
creates a interconnected streams (igarapes) separated by 
small elevations, known as tesos, forms drainage dissection 
around the lakes and streams (Fig. 4). Also we can see in the 
area the sugar-loaf formations (pao-de-acucar) and laterite 
layers exposed on the soil (lajeiro). 

In all lavrado areas narrow lines of palm trees remind 
one of the landscapes of the morphoclimatic domain of the 
Central Brazil cerrados. Of course this resemblance is on- 
ly apparent, since the cerrado is a very distinct ecosystem, 
situated a few thousands kilometers from the lavrado. The 
reconnaissance of the distinctiveness between both ecosys- 
tems - lavrado and cerrado - has a very important ecologi- 
cal and biogeographical significance (Eiten 1963; Coutinho 
1978; Vanzolini ir Carvalho 1991; Carvalho 2009). 

The predominant declivity of the lavrado is between 
5°-8°, with low energy, forming a region that receives sedi- 
mentary material, mainly sand coming from the surround- 
ing crystalline uplands (Guyana Shield). The lavrado central 
portion's relief low energy favors the formation of a com- 
plex lacustrine system, composed by more or less circular 
up to 300 meters long lakes, most of which are temporary 
(Fig. 5). These lakes are independent, interconnected by nar- 
row streams, forming dendritic, rectangular and subdendrit- 



Fig. 4: 1 - Tesos (low hills) convex morphologies; 2 - 
elevations between the streams. 



lakes; 3 - small 



Abb. 4: 1 - Tesos (flaches Hiigelland) konvexe Morphologie; 2 - Seen; 3 - 
kleine Erhebungen zwischen den Strbmen. 



ic patterns. These lakes are fed by ground water and resem- 
ble the lakes of the morphoclimatic domain of the cerrado 
(Carvalho & Zucchi 2009). Figures 6-7 show some aspects 
of the fluvial plain and vegetation of the lavrado. 

The rivers that cross the lavrado are autochthonous, with 
its headwaters in the elevated serras that make the border 
of Brazil and Venezuela, the Parima-Pacaraima system. The 
lavrado drainage, formed by well developed fluvial plains, 
is directed to the Negro River, which runs from the Andes 
until its confluence to the Solimoes River, in the Central 
Amazon Basin. The main rivers that run in the lavrado have 
banks (dique marginal) and beyond these a formation called 
vdrzea, a floodplain area formed along the main rivers dur- 
ing the rainy season. 

The vegetation of the lavrado is composed by interesting 
formations (Beigbeder 1959; Ab'Saber 1997). Throughout 
this open area one can see near 8-10 meters height and less 
than 0.5 ha, wood patches, surrounded by grouped or more 
disperse scrubs and small trees. The ground is covered by 
grasses and grass-like plants (family Cyperaceae). Lines of 
palm trees (Mauritia flexuosa), known as buritizais, due 
to the popular name buriti (family Palmae) for the palm 
tree, is an important element of the lavrado landscape, 
starting in small lakes and running toward the main riv- 
ers, for a distance of around 300-800 meters. The lavrado 
is surrounded by 15-20 meters high forest, soil with shal- 
low litter, some emerging trees and somewhat unstructured 
understory. 



4.2 Geomorphology and fauna 
4.2.1 The approach 



We can look at this interaction between geomorphology and 
biology from the point of view of different related areas of 
knowledge. Whatever the area, the main idea of this interac- 
tion is focused on species and populations distribution, local 
or along large areas. On the regional distribution, one may 
be interested in describing the species richness between hab- 
itats within an ecosystem, to understand aspects of the local 
biodiversity. On the other hand, we can focus on the distri- 



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119 





Fig. 5: Lacustrine system (03°37'N, 60°15'W); 
1 - Surumu River; 2 - Tacutu River. 

Abb. 5: Lakustrines System (03°37'N, 60°15"W); 
1 - Surumu River; 2 - Tacutu River. 

bution of species and populations among ecosystem, in order 
to understand extensive distribution patterns, for example, 
populations in contact or separated by geomorphic barriers 
that have occurred in the present or past events. 

Two emeritus herpetologists together with one geologist 
were the first to approach geomorphology to biology in 1969- 
1970. The zoologists are the Brazilian scientist Paulo Emilio 
Vanzolini and his North American colleague Ernst Williams. 
They have formulated a very elegant South American lizard 
(genus Anolis, family Polychrotidae) speciation model based 
on forest expansion and retraction, paleoclimatic events that 
occurred under the influence of the Pleistocene dry and wet 
periods over the past 20.000-10.000 years. 

This model of speciation formulated by Vanzolini & 
Williams (1970) establishes that because of the forest frag- 
mentation occurring during paleoclimatic dry periods (gla- 
ciation) animals became isolated in forests patches, which 
resulted in ecological barriers - forest species do not live in 
open areas. These barriers, in turn, determined the interrup- 
tion of gene flow between populations. Dry events of the 
past can be inferred at present by geomorphologic features, 
such as the stone-lines (paleosols formed in dry paleoclimat- 
ic periods and buried in sedimentary deposits), indicating 
that a forested area today was open in the past (Ab'Saber 
2003; Hiruma 2007). Another way to infer past dry events is 
through palynological records and 14 C dating of sediments 
(Absy 2000; Salgado-Laboriau 1982). 

During the humid phase (interglacial) the forest coalesced 
and what was fragmented forest became continuous forest- 
ed area; however, many animal species did not change gene 
again, because their populations were isolated for a period in 
which several biological and physiological changes occurred 



in each one. The result of these processes was the formation 
of distinct species. The model focused mainly on the pulsa- 
tion of the forest in the Amazon region; however, the idea 
was applied for other regions and species (Vanzolini 1988, 
2002; Wuster et al. 2005). 

Following another way of the same theme, the German 
geologist Jiirgen Haffer studying Amazonian birds, in 1969 
came to the same conclusion and model of speciation as did 
Vanzolini and Williams for lizards in early 1970. This model 
of speciation, taking geomorphological evidences of expan- 
sion and retraction of the forest, became classic in biogeog- 
raphy and is well known as Pleistocene Refugia Model and 
Refugia Theory (Vanzolini 1970; Absy et al. 1991; Haffer it 
Prance 2001; Haffer 1969; Ab'Saber 1982). 

The morphoclimatic domains concepts, adopted by Van- 
zolini and Williams as vegetation criteria for their study of 
species distribution and refuges, were first formulated by 
Aziz Nacib Ab'Saber in 1967. Prior to this Brazilian geogra- 
pher and geomorphologist, the vegetation of the regions in 
Brazil was identified through fragmented floristic features. 
The model of Ab'Saber gave the necessary strength in iden- 
tifying large vegetal formations, instead of patches inside the 
same ecological and geomorphologic formation. Ab'Saber 
used the climate, vegetation, soil, Hydrography and relief as 
features to recognize what he called the area "core" in a do- 
main, in a sub-continental scale. All kinds of regional geo- 
morphological fades could, then, be included in one domain 
or another - cerrado, caatinga, mata atldntica and hileia 
(the Amazon) - recognizing the transitional zones. 

The model formulated by Ab'Saber was a great advance 
to the fields of geography and geomorphology, since regions 
could then be identified as a continuous unit with related 
geomorphologic features. To biologists interested in ecolo- 
gy and biogeography this geomorphologic model integrated 
formerly scattered data, enabling one to come to a better 
understanding of species distribution. 

1.3 Habitats and faunal distribution: the lavrado 

All those geomorphological formations comprised in the 
lavrado, such as hills, rock outcrops, lakes, small patches of 
forest, scrubs and the gallery forests along the rivers, with 
the back-swamps (vdrzea) of the major ones, form the habi- 
tats inhabited by many organisms. Identifying these habitats 
is the first step to comprehend the biology of any species that 
live in the lavrado, in terms of adaptations and gene flow 
among individuals and populations. Some geomorphological 
features can illustrate this point of view, such as the granite 
and laterite extrusions, hogbacks, inselbergs and sparse or 
grouped boulders at various sizes (matacoes) in the plain and 
low hills present in the lavrado (Ruellan 1957). In addition 
to the geomorphological interpretation, these formations 
also have their ecological identity, forming complex micro- 
habitats inhabited by birds, bats, rats, snakes, frogs, lizards 
and many species of invertebrates (Vanzolini it Carvalho 
1991; Carvalho 2009; Nunes it Bobadilha 1997; Rafael et 
al. 1997). 

The rocks are distributed throughout the area and are di- 
rectly exposed to the sunlight. These features led to many 
relevant biological questions, such as: How many species 
of vertebrates and invertebrates are associated with these 



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Fig. 6: "A-B" - fluvial plains, lowlands (03°01'N, 60°29'W and 02°36'N, 60°54'W); "C-D" - fluvial plains, highlands (04°17'N, 60°32'W and 04°56'N, 61° WW). 
1 - abandoned chanel lakes of flood plain; 2 - Lakes of flat plain. A - Mouth of the Tacutu River in the Branco River; B - Mucajai River; C - Cotingo River 
with structural control, non flood plain; D - meandriform river developed at structural control, small flood plain with lacustrine systems (oxbows lakes). 

Abb. 6: "A-B" - Flussniederungen, Tiefland (03°60°N, 29°0l'W und 02°36'N, 60°54'W); "C-D" - Flussniederungen, Hochland (04°17'N, 60°32'W und 04"56'N, 
61°14 "W). 1 - aufgegehene Kanalseen der Flussaue; 2 - Seen der Tiefebene. A - Zusammenfluss von Tacutu in den Brancoss; B - Mucajai; C - Cotingo, 
nicht zur Flussaue entwickelt; D - mdandernder Fluss, kleinflachige Flussaue mit lakustrinen Systemen (Altwasserseen). 



habitats? How many diet and reproductive adaptations have 
these species undergone so as to be able to survive in these 
geomorphological units? How can be genetically charac- 
terized the populations of the same species inhabiting the 
lavrado? There are any preferences of some particular spe- 
cies in residing certain geomorphological features, such as 
granite and laterite? How these rock outcrops are distributed 
(grouped or dispersed) and how to interpret the distribution 
pattern? 

An interesting case of animal distribution in these granite 
habitats come from the frog Leptodactylus myersi, a species 
that seems to be endemic to the lavrado, living on the rocks, 
at least the main populations (Heyer 1995). Each popula- 
tion of this frog seems to be separated by several kilometers, 
which is the distance between the boulders. Questions based 
on this example may include: How are these frog popula- 
tions distributed, taking into account they are directly as- 
sociated with the boulders distribution? How to characterize 



the adaptations of this frog, in terms of reproduction and di- 
et? Where they lay their eggs, considering the extreme expo- 
sure to this habitat to sunlight and dry environments? These 
are questions being currently studied. 

Another species very common in the rock formations of 
the lavrado is the lizard Tropidurus hispidus (family Tropi- 
duridae). The biological questions that can be applied to the 
populations of this lizard are associated with the habitats 
where they live, such as the boulders, small trees, border of 
the forest and in the small patches of forest. For example: Do 
all these lizards have the same set of adaptations? Is it pos- 
sible to determine the populations of this lizard precisely by 
identifying the habitats through geoprocessing techniques? 

Among mammals there are some interesting distribution 
in habitats composed by lacustrine system in general, low 
hills and dissected relief, vegetation of the margins of riv- 
ers (mata ciliar) and lines of palm trees (buritizais), laterite 
layers (lajeiros) and boulders. All these geomorphological 



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151 




Fig. 7: A - Venezuela-Roraima border, transition of the forest to lavrado - 
grassland with tall shrubs and small trees (04°02'N, 61°03'W); B - Venezu- 
elan open areas, patches of forest with well developed rills and structural 
control (4°50'N, 60°57"W); C - Serra da Memoria, shrubs and small trees, 
vegetation slope with tors and blocks (04°10'N, 60°57'W); D - island vegeta- 
tion with small lakes at flat plain (3°12'N, 60°57"W). 

Abb. 7: A - Grenze Venezuela - Roraima, Obergang von Wald zu lavrado 
- Grasland mit hohen Biischen und niedrigen Baumen (4°2'N, 61°3'W); 
B - Venezuelanische Offenlandschaft mit gut entwickelten Bdchen (4°50'N, 
60°57'W); C - Serra da Memoria, Straucher und niedrige Baume, bewach- 
sene Hange mit Blacken (4°10'N, 60°57'W); D - inselartige Vegetation mit 
kleinen Seen in einer flachen Ebene (03°12'N, 60°57"W). 



units comprise the environment where many mammal spe- 
cies can live, such as Myrmecophaga tridactyla (tamandud) 
and Tamandua tetradactyla (mambira), two related species 
of the family Myrmecophagidae (Order Pilosa) that feed on 
termites and ants. These two mammal species also have the 
patches of forest as refugia during the night. 

Another species that have its habitat associated with the 
geomorphological units of the open areas is the little mam- 
mal Nasua nasua (quati) of the family Procyonidae (Order 
Carnivora), an inhabitant of the boulders of the plains and 
hills. During the day it is common to see this animal in that 
habitat, looking for food, mainly earthworms, insects and 
some fruits. The vegetation of this habitat is composed by 
herbs, grasses, scrubs and isolated trees, where N. nasua can 
be found climbed at night. Again, geomorphology gives the 
direction for describing these habitats. 

Among birds we can also have some representative spe- 
cies currently endemic to Roraima, such as Aratinga sol- 
stitialis (jandaia-sol) of the family Psittacidae, that live in 
habitats comprised by the gallery forests or on the forest 
edge (approximately 03°52'N, 59°37'W). The precise localiza- 
tion of these endangered species habitats can be obtained 
by geoprocessing techniques, like the other endangered spe- 
cies Synallaxis kollari (joao-de-barba-grisalha) of the fam- 
ily Furnariidae. This small bird can live in habitats formed 
by low hills and dissected relief, scrubs and small trees, up 
to the right bank of the Tacutu River, in Guyana territory. 
Some populations of this bird can also be found in Roraima, 
in gallery forest. 

The same rational can be applied to the botanical species 
present in the lavrado. For example, there is a small and in- 
teresting cactus genus Melocactus that occurs on the rocks 
forming clusters. The distribution of this cactacean can be 
easily established through the identification of the rock ex- 



trusions. Another cactacean present in the lavrado, the dis- 
tribution of which can be ascertained through geoprocess- 
ing techniques, is the Brazilian popular mandacaru genus 
Cereus, whose main distribution may be associated with the 
soil, as well with clusters of termite nests genus Cornitermes 
(approximately 03°52'N, 59°37'W). 

It is also very useful and informative to apply the geopro- 
cessing techniques for understanding the lavrado vegetation. 
These features of the landscape in this area are made up by 
a complex net of small more or less rounded forest patches 
(island forests) some 0.5 ha or less, palms trees (linear or 
almost rounded), described having the focus on the habitat 
of animals. But we can also focus the question with another 
lens. How the forest patches of the lavrado are distributed? Is 
there any pattern accounting for forest patches distribution 
and soil? The relevance of these questions is not restricted 
to the present, but imply in considerations such as how the 
landscape change and what would be the implications for 
the fauna and flora. 

These questions lead us to look at the lavrado vegeta- 
tion under another focus, which is the pulsation of open 
and closed vegetal formations under climate changes. It is 
quite possible that the expansion and retraction of the for- 
est during the Pleistocene have influenced the gene flow of 
many species living today in these kinds of vegetation, con- 
necting or interrupting definitely or temporarily the patches 
of forest. How the various species of the lavrado terrestrial 
vertebrates, for example, were locally affected by the events 
during the dry and wet paleoclimate periods? What to say 
about the forest pulsation and climate change that might be 
undergoing at present? 

Recognizing evidence of pulses in the lavrado vegetation, 
through geoprocessing data associated with the local distri- 
bution of species, might certainly elucidate several of these 
questions. This is the case, for instance, of three sympatric 
species of lizards of the genus Gymnophthalmus (family 
Gymnophthalmidae) that occur in the open areas of Rorai- 
ma and in the forest edge, in contact with the lavrado. The 
species are G. leucomystax associated with termite nests, G. 
vanzoi in the contact forest open areas, and G. underwodii 
in the continuous forest (Vanzolini if Carvalho 1991; Car- 
valho 1999). In a 1.5 kilometer transect, we can find these 
three lizard species, each one in its specific habitat. These 
three species are so tightly taxonomically related, that it is 
difficult to recognize them at a first look, and we can imagine 
how many geomorphological events might have occurred 
for the speciation of these three lizards species. We can map 
the distribution of these lizards through geoprocessing tech- 
niques. 

Looking again to the landscape of the lavrado and its asso- 
ciated fauna, another example of biogeomorphology applied 
to the biological distribution of populations comes from the 
termites. At least two species of these social insects of the 
family Termitidae build their nests on the ground (epigeous 
nests): Nasutitermes minimus and the Cornitermes ovatus 
(Bandeira 1988). Both species of termites construct nests in 
different parts of the lavrado, maybe due to soil factors, veg- 
etation cover or both features together. The nest of N. minus 
is rounded on the top, around 30-40 centimeters high, and 
the base is 20-30 centimeters in diameter, are constructed 
mainly over the hills (approximately 03°20'N, 61°24W) . The 



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Fig. 8: "A-A"' - Uraricoera River (left photo); B - Grande River; C - Serra 
do Tabaio. Region of the endemic lizards Gymnophthalmus vanzoi and 
G. leucomystax (family Gymnophthalmidae). Forest and lavrado contact, 
with small patches of forest (right photo). Transition of denudational and 
aggradational relief with isolated hills, drained by a not well development 
fluvial plain. 

Abb. 8: "A-A"' - Uraricoera (Foto links); B - Grande River; C - Serra do 
Tabaio. Region mit den endemischen Eidechsen Gymnophthalmus vanzoi 
und G. leucomystax (Familie Gymnophthalmidae). Wald und lavrado-Kon- 
takt mit kleinen Waldinseln (Foto rechts). Ubergang von Abtragungs- zu 
Aufschiittungsrelief mit isolierten Hiigeln, die Entwdsserung erfolgt iiber 
eine schlecht entwickelte Flussniederung. 



Fig. 9: Brazil-Venezuela border. A - Tepequem tepuy (right photo); B - 
Parima River, hills; C - Surumu River (left photo), type locality of the 
amphibian Elachistocleis surumu. Not well developed fluvial plains (Su- 
rumu River), with temporary lakes. Litholic soils with boulders, tors and 
scrub-herbs vegetation. 

Abb. 9: Grenze Brasilien-Venezuela. A - Tepequem tepuy (Foto rechts); 
B - Parima, Hugel; C - Surumu (Foto links), Typuslokalitdt der Amphibie 
Elachistocleis surumu. Schlecht entwickelte Flussniederungen (Surumu) 
mit tempordren Seen. Litholic-Boden mit Felsblocken, strauch- und kraut- 
reiche Vegetation. 



nest of C.ovatus is pointed on the top; the construction is 
very hard, around 2.0 meters high, and the base 1.0-1.5 me- 
ters in diameter, mainly constructed on the plains (approxi- 
mately 03°52'N, 59°37'W), at the same region of the cacta- 
cean Cereus. 

There are many animals associated to the nests of both of 
these termite species. The rattlesnake Crotalus ruruima, the 
lizards Tropidurus hispidus (Family Tropiduridae), Cnemi- 
dophorus lemniscatus (Family Teiidae) and the gekko Hemi- 
dactyulus mabouia (Family Gekkonidae) are tenants of these 
nests. Also some species of rats and opossuns, spiders and 
many invertebrate species live in those nests. There are in- 
teresting biological questions associated with the distribu- 
tion of those termite species. With the help of geoprocess- 
ing techniques so as to identify the areas of occurrence of 
both, nests and soil, any approach related to these termites 
becomes more practical. 

The distribution of rare or endemic species that occur 
in Roraima can be illustrated on maps using geoprocessing 
techniques, exemplifying species distributed in the lavrado 
and surrounding areas of this open vegetation ecosystem 
(Fig. 8, 9, 10). 

5 Conclusions 

Examples exposed in the present discussion can guide the 
focus of the biogeomorphology approach in two directions: 
i) at a regional scale or ii) at a sub-continental level, within 
or among large vegetal formations. Either way, the questions 
regarding species and habitats distribution should be made 



involving geomorphology as a backdrop of the whole scen- 
ery. 

At a sub-continental level, considering large vegetal for- 
mations, the questions leads to problems related to specia- 
tion and its process. The recognition of the geographic units 
of the species been studied - the morphoclimatic domains 
- is fundamental for that approach, because the whole dis- 
tribution area of a single species or groups of species will be 
compared through biological aspects, which may vary sig- 
nificantly or not. The main questions that arise at this level 
may include: How many vegetal formation can be recog- 
nized inside the domain (or domains) been studied? How are 
the soil, topography and hydrography characteristics in each 
studied region? Are these geomorphic features acting as bar- 
riers for gene flow among populations? 

At a regional scale, such as that of the lavrado area, be- 
fore the formulation of specific biological questions it is also 
imperative to locate the geographic insertion of the region 
within the main ecosystem. Once recognized the geographic 
context of the study site, we turn the eyes to the diversity 
and composition of the regional geomorphological units, 
such as the boulders, plains, hills, montains, lacustrine sys- 
tem, drainage and regional vegetal formations, which can be 
done applying remote sensing and geoprocessing techniques. 

The geomorphological features will then characterize the 
habitats. Taking these features as criteria for categorize the 
compartments of the region, we can focus on the questions 
to be worked, which can be directed to analyze species rich- 
ness, regional distribution of a group of species or distribu- 
tion of a single species, habitat change and modification of 



EBG / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2D12 / 146-155 / DOI 10.3285/eg.61.2.D3 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



153 




6 References 



Fig. 10: Distribution of endemic species in northern of Roraima, lavrado. 
A - Lavrado area; B - Forest area. Some species: Lizards: Mabuya carv- 
alhoi (Sauria: Scincidae), Gymnophthalmus leucomystax (Sauria: Gym- 
nophthalmidae), Gymnophthalmus vanzoi (Sauria: Gymnophthalmidae); 
Amphibians: Dendropsophus benitezi; Elachistocleis surumu; Serpents: 
Micrurus pacaraimae; Birds: Schistocichla saturata ; Herpsilochmus rorai- 
mae; Syndactyla roraimae; Myiophobus roraimae; Thamnophilus insignis; 
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Abb. 10: Verteilung endemischer Arten im Norden von Roraima, lavrado. A 
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Micrurus pacaraimae; Vogel: Schistocichla saturata ; Herpsilochmus rorai- 
mae; Syndactyla roraimae; Myiophobus roraimae; Thamnophilus insignis; 
Megascops guatemalae; Sdugetiere: Nasua nasua vittata. 



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155 



E&G 



Quaternary Science Journal 

Volume 61 / Number 2 / 2012 / 156-167 / DQI 10.3285/eg.61.2.04 
www.quaternary-science.net 



GEQZDN SCIENCE MEDIA 
ISSN 0424-7116 



Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology of Terna River Basin in 
West Central India 



Mohammad Babar, Radhakrishna Chunchekar, Madhusudan G. Yadava, Bhagwan Ghute 



How to cite: 



Abstract: 



Kurzfassung: 



Keywords: 



Babar, Md, Chunchekar, R.V., Yadava, M.G., Ghute, B.B. (2012): Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology of Terna River Basin 
in West Central India. - E&G Quaternary Science Journal, 61 (2): 159-168. DOI: 10.3285/eg.61.2.04 

This paper presents the morpho stratigraphy, lithostratigraphy and sedimentary structures of Terna River basin in the Deccan Ba- 
saltic Province (DBP) of West Central India. These Quaternary deposits have been divided into three informal formations (i) dark 
grey silt formation - Late Holocene, (ii) Light grey silt formations - Early Holocene, (iii) Dark grayish brown silt formation - Late 
Pleistocene with the older Quaternary Alluvial deposits of Upper Pleistocene age. The fine clay and silt formations in the lower 
reaches reflect that the streams are of low gradient and more sinuous. The river shows evidences of channel movement by avulsion, 
largely controlled by lineaments. Palaeo-levees, in the form 4-5 m high ridges exist along the Terna River floodplain, specifically in 
theTer, Killari, Sastur, Dhuta and Makni villages. Several lineaments occur along NE-SW, NW-SE, E-W and WNW-ESE directions, 
which control the basement structure in the study area. The values of the Topographic Sinuosity Index (TSI) indicate rejuvenation 
of the area leading to the dominance of topography on the sinuosity of the river channels. The break in slope in the long profile is 
also indication of the Quaternary tectonic uplift of the area. Radiocarbon dating of some charcoal fragments collected from folded 
beddings indicates that paleoseismic activity might have taken place along the basin between AD 120 and AD 1671. 

Quartargeologie und Geomorphologie des Terna Beckens im westlichen Zentralindien 

Im vorgelegten Artikel werden die Morphostratigraphie, Lithostratigraphie sowie die Sedimentstrukturen des Terna Beckens in der 
Deccan Basaltic Province (DBP) im westlichen Zentralindien vorgestellt. Die Quartarablagerungen konnen in drei grofie Einheiten 
unterteilt werden (i) dunkelgraue Schluffablagerungen - Spates Holozan, (ii) hellgraue Schluffablagerungen - Friihes Holozan, (iii) 
dunkelgrau-braune Schluffablagerungen - Spatpleistozan mit altquartaren alluvialen Absatzen mit oberpleistozanen Altern. Die 
feinen tonig-schluffigen Ablagerungen im Unterlauf des Flusses deuten auf ruhige Ablagerungsbedingungen und einen sinusarti- 
gen Abfluss hin. Der Fluss zeigt Tendenzen zu abschwemmungsbedingten Gerinneverlagerungen, die wiederum durch vorhandene 
Bruchlinien gesteuert wurden. Entlang des Terna-Flusses konnten weiterhin Palaouferriicken in Form von 4-5 m hohen Riicken 
nachgewiesen werden, hier vor allem im Bereich der OrtschaftenTer, Killari, Sastur, Dhuta und Makni. Einige nachgewiesene 
Bruchlinien treten vor allem in NE-SE, NW-SE, E-W und WNW-ESE-Richtung auf und bestimmen die Struktur des Grundgebirges 
im Untersuchungsgebiet. Die TSI-Werte (Topographic Sinousity Index) verdeutlichen einen Erosionswechsel im Untersuchungs- 
gebiet mit einer Verstarkung des topographischen Einflusses auf die Ausformung der Abfiussbahnen. Die im Profil sichtbare Ge- 
landekante zeugt weiterhin von einer tektonischen Hebung des Gebietes im Quartar. Radiokohlenstoffdatierungen, die an einigen 
Holzkohlefragmenten durchgefiihrt wurden, die aus gefalteten Ablagerungen entnommen wurden, deuten darauf hin, dass eine 
seismische Aktivitat in der Zeitspanne zwischen 120-1671 n. Chr. stattgefunden haben kann. 

Quaternary Geology, Lithologs of Quaternary sediments, morphostratigraphy, Geomorphology, Terna River 



Addresses of authors: Md. Babar 1 , R.V. Chunchekar 1 , M.G. Yadava 2 and B.B. Ghute 1 Department of Geology, Dnyanopasak College, Parbhani-431 401 
(M.S.) India, z Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad-380 009, Gujrat India, E-mail: md-babar@hotmail.com 



1 Introduction 



The Peninsular India was considered to be tectonically sta- 
ble, until the Killari-Latur earthquake in 1993 (Fig. l), which 
was followed by another event at Jabalpur in 1997 (Fig. l) 
and continued episodes of reservoir induced earthquakes at 
Koyna (Maharashtra India) since 1967 (Fig. l). The epicenter 
of the devastating Killari-Latur earthquake (mb=6.3) of Sep- 
tember 30, 1993 is located in the Terna drainage basin (Fig. 2). 
This event is one of the rare occurrences of an earthquake in 
shield area and brought into focus several unresolved ques- 



tions regarding the intracratonic earthquakes. The seismicity 
recorded in this region in the last few decades apparently 
contradicted the traditional notion of the tectonic stability of 
the Deccan Volcanic Province (DVP). These earthquakes also 
demonstrated the catastrophic effects and the risk of anni- 
hilating earthquakes occurring in the DVP in Peninsular In- 
dia in response to ongoing neotectonic activity in the region. 
The observed seismicity has so far remained unexplained 
within a neotectonic framework in the absence of such stud- 
ies in the region. No study has been attempted to so far on 
documentation of neotectonic evidences and its influence on 



156 



E6G / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 159-167 / DOI 10.3285/eg.61.2.04 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



<&.:. 



\i": 



-*'€< Kashmir 1555- 
_ jalahabad. 1 &s 2S^ Kas'n T11M885 (; 
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2 Geology of the area 



Fig 1. Schematic views of Indian Tectonics and historic Earthquakes map 
of India (Modified after Bilham 2004). The values in bracket indicate the 
number of casualties because of the earthquake. Shading indicates flexure 
of India: a 4 km deep trough near the Himalaya and an inferred minor (40 
m) trough in south central India are separated by a bulge that rises ap- 
proximately 450 m. 



the shaping of the landscape in the recent geologic past. The 
Quaternary deposits occurring in the Terna basin have also 
remained uninvestigated so far, which are potential archives 
for delineating past neotectonic and seismic events and Late 
Quaternary evolutionary history. 

The earthquake near Killari-Latur along Terna River dem- 
onstrated the need for detailed neotectonic reappraisal of 
the DVP, which consists primarily of a thick pile of trap- 
pean lava flows and narrow fringe of Quaternary sediments. 
Although, the lava flows have been studied extensively in 
terms of their petrological characteristics and geochemistry 
but studies on their structural aspects, geomorphological and 
neotectonic evolution are virtually sporadic. The alluvial de- 
posits in western uplands of Maharashtra have been studied 
with respect to Neogene uplift of Peninsular India and Qua- 
ternary paleoclimatic changes (Radhakrishna 1993; Rajag- 
uru et al. 1993; Rajaguru ir Kale 1985). The studies carried 
out so far (Babar et al. 2000) indicate a control of structure 
and neotectonics on the geomorphic set up and drainage 
configuration of the Terna basin. Lineament and fault con- 
trolled drainage pattern, entrenched meanders, incised cliffs 
of Quaternary sediments and bedrock and a rejuvenated to- 
pography points to a dominant control of neotectonic activ- 
ity on the landscape evolution of the area. 

The paper represents the Quaternary Geology and geo- 
morphology of Terna River basin in the DVP of West central 
India. The location of sites is given in Fig. 2. The Quaternary 
geological mapping was carried out in the area in order to 
generate the data on morphostratigraphy and lithostratig- 
raphy. The lineaments occurs along NE-SW, NW-SE, E-W 
and WNW-ESE directions (Fig. 3), which has influenced the 
drainage network of the area and the tributaries of the Terna 
River. 



Geologically, the entire study area belongs to DVP of Penin- 
sular India (Fig. 4). Deccan volcanism is considered to be a 
manifestation of original tectonic regime developed within 
the continental lithospheric plate (Chandrasekharam 1985; 
Cox 1989; Cox 1991; Bose 1996). The stress conditions in the 
Indian peninsula initiated formation of fissure swarms and 
with increasing intensity and developed miniature Conti- 
nental rifting. The Killari-Latur 1993 earthquake rejuvenated 
the debate over the existence of rift valleys underneath the 
DVP (Valdiya 1993; Kailasam 1993). 

The Deccan Traps, which cover an area of more than 
600,000 sq km of this region, consist of a number of flows 
ranging in thickness from a few meters up to about 100 m 
with the successive flows being separated by red bole or In- 
ter-trappean beds and are characterized by compact basalt 
at the bottom part succeeded by a vesicular zone (Gupta 
ir Dwivedy 1996). The Deccan trap sequence, in general, is 
classified into stratigraphic units on the basis of chemical 
composition of various flows (e.g. Mitchell ir Widdowson 
1991). The southern part of Deccan volcanic province in the 
eastern Maharashtra is composed of Poladpur and Ambenali 
Formations of the Wai sub group (Mitchell ir Widdowson 
1991; Bilgrami 1999). 

The Deccan basalt flows, in general, are broadly hori- 
zontal in disposition and exhibits gentle gradients. The gra- 
dient is towards ENE and SE. Drilling at Killari (Gupta ir 
Dwivedy 1996; Gupta et al. 1998) indicates that the total 
thickness of basaltic layers is about 338 m with about 12-15 
flows. The lava flows are underlained by 8 m thick infra- 
trappean sequence comprising 1-2 m oxidized shale fol- 
lowed by a conglomeratic grit-sandstone. This layer overlies 
the Precambrian granitic basement (biotite-granitic gneisses 
to pink granite). In the present study area there are nine ba- 
saltic lava flows as given in Table 1. 

Closely spaced gravity survey and modeling along the 
two profiles (Mishra et al. 1998) across the epicentral area 
of 1993 Killari-Latur earthquake suggest some high and low 
density bodies of shallow origin indicating highly heteroge- 
neous basement. Under these circumstances the most con- 
vincing evidence of paleoseismicity as well as tectonic activ- 
ity, which may have occurred in this region, is most likely to 
come from the sediments, which have been preserved along 
the rivers. 



3 Methodology 
3.1 Satellite Data 



For the present study the IRS P6 LISS III 2010 satellite data 
was used to delineate Quaternary litho units of the Terna 
River. Active channels and floodplain features were mapped. 
The digital data format from Indian remote sensing satel- 
lite (IRS P6) of LISS-III 2010 with 24 m spatial resolution 
with four spectral bands was used to meet the requirement 
of area under study. The image taken was false colour com- 
posite (FCC) on 1:50,000 scale, having band combination of 
4:3:2:1 (NIR: red: green). The SOI toposheets and digital sat- 
ellite data were geometrically rectified and geo-referenced 
and merged using Arc GIS 9.3. 



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157 




Fig. 2: Location map of study area for sites of lithologs along the Terna 
River Basin. 



3.2 Field Work 

The geomorphic study carried out was based on the satellite 
data, Survey of India (SOI) topographic maps and extensive 
field survey. The height of terrace surfaces was determined 
using the data acquired through toposheets and hand-held 
global positioning systems (GPS). The data presented are 
based on the field observation on several outcrops, where a 
representative section has been discussed in detail. The mor- 
phological details are presented after careful examination of 
SOI topographic maps and observations made in the field. 
Sections were logged and sedimentary structures were de- 



scribed in the field itself. The fieldwork is under taken dur- 
ing 2009-10. 

The river shows the evidences of channel movement 
by avulsion and the lineaments largely control these. Old- 
er palaeo-levees exist in the form of ridges 4-5 m high at 
Ter, Killari, Sastur and Makni villages along the Terna River 
floodplain. The abnormally greater thickness of sediments is 
recorded at Ter village, consisting of mounds of 12 to 15 m 
height from the bed level of the Terna River (Rajendran et 
al. 1996; Sukhija et al. 2006). In the field these are marked 
by a curvilinear deposition of Paleolithic sites on the silty or 
sandy over bank deposits. They occur as irregular patches 
and can be related to the older course of the river. Several 
lineaments run NE-SW, NW-SE, E-W and WNW-ESE direc- 
tions (Fig. 3), which control the basement structure in the 
study area. The lineament map is prepared using the basin 
map prepared in Arc GIS 9.3 and the lineaments are incor- 
porated from the lineament maps of Arya et al. (1995) and 
Srivastava et al. (1997). The geology of area is illustrated in 
Fig. 4, litho-sections were logged (Fig. 5) and sedimentary 
structures were described. 

3.3 Radiocarbon Analysis 

For the present study seven charcoal samples were collect- 
ed from different locations including two samples from Ter 
area, one each from Duta and Makhani and three samples 
from Killari villages locations, depth and ages with Figures 
referred are given in Table 4. Ages of charcoal fragments 
were estimated by radiocarbon dating method following 
liquid scintillation spectrometry (Yadava & Ramesh 1999). 
Benzene was synthesized from sample carbon in three ra- 
diochemical steps: l) under dynamic vacuum sample carbon 
was first combusted to carbon dioxide 2) it was reacted with 
lithium metal to get acetylene 3) finally benzene was cata- 
lytically synthesized from acetylene. Residual radiocarbon 
activity of the sample benzene was measured by liquid scin- 
tillation counter (LKB-QUANTULUS). All the estimated ag- 
es reported here was calibrated using online version (http:// 
www.calib.qub.ac.uk) of the programme Calib 6.1 (Stuiver 



Tab. 1: Lava flows in the Terna River basin (Modified after GSDA, 1973-74). 



Sr. No. 


Flow No. 


Lithology of the flow 


Altitude range [m] 


1 


IX 


Highlyjointed compact basalt flow [fine grained massive and moderately 
weathered] 


746.00 to 722.00 


2 


VIII 


Jointed compact basalt flow [fine grained massive and moderately 
weathered] 


722.00 to 685.00 


3 


VII 


Highly weathered vesicular amygdaloidal basalt flow 


685.00 to 675.00 


4 


VI 


Jointed compact basalt flow [fine grained massive, grey to dark grey 
coloured and poorly weathered] 


675.00 to 643.00 


5 


- 


Red bole bed 


643.00 to 642.00 


6 


V 


Compact basalt flow [fine grained massive and moderately weathered] 


642.00 to 634.00 


7 


- 


Red bole bed 


634.00 to 633.00 


8 


IV 


Highly weathered vesicular amygdaloidal basalt flow 


633.00 to 621.00 


9 


III 


Jointed compact basalt flow [fine grained massive, dark grey coloured 
and highly to moderately weathered] 


621.00 to 580.00 


10 


II 


Poorly weathered vesicular amygdaloidal basalt flow 


580.00 to 569.00 


11 


1 


Jointed compact basalt flow [fine grained massive, dark brownish 
coloured and poorly weathered] 


569.00 to 551.00 



158 



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I. im-;irni.-uE Msi|} uf Tfrna River Basin 



» 




Fig. 3: Lineament map of the study area showing lineaments occurring 
along NE-SW, NW-SE, E-W and WNW-ESE directions (Modified after 
Arya et al. 1995 and Srivastava et al 1997). TKL - Terna-Killari Linea- 
ment, SKL - Sastur-Killari Lineament, AOL - Ausa-Osmanabad Line- 
ament, JKL - Jawalganala-Killari Lineament, KUL - Kallam-Umarga 
Lineament, GBL - Ghod-Bhima Lineament. 



if Reimer 1993). In most of the cases estimated radiocarbon 
ages when calibrated results into several age ranges with 
varying relative area (or probability). For simplifying the 
discussion, here we consider only those ranges which have 
high corresponding relative area (> 0.89, given in column 5, 
Tab. 4). For further details on the procedure refer the Stu- 
iver ir Reimer (1993). 

4 Results 

4.1 Quaternary Sediments 

In the Deccan Peninsular India Quaternary deposits are pri- 
marily fluvial. They are confined to very narrow belts along 
rivers with not much recognizable landscape features, ex- 
cept for the sediments recognized along Tapi and Purna riv- 
ers (Ghatak if Ghatak 2008; Tiwari et al. 1996; Tiwari if 
Bhai 1997b; Tiwari if Bhai 1998; Tiwari 1999; Tiwari 2001; 
Tiwari et al. 2010). These deposits are often discontinuous, 
generally unfossiliferous and lack suitable material for ra- 
diometric dating, further more; the deposits lack proper pres- 
ervation of pollen and proper sedimentological record. 

The lithology of the Terna valley of older alluvium con- 
sists of dark grey sand and silts with grey brown clay and at 
some places development of calcretes suggests that the Older 
Quaternary Alluvial deposits are of Upper Pleistocene age. 
Lithostratigraphically the Quaternary deposits of the Terna 
River basin have been divided into three informal forma- 
tions including (i) dark grey silt formation - Late Holocene, 
(ii) Light grey silt formations - Early Holocene, (iii) Dark 
grayish brown silt formation - Late Pleistocene. There are 
two formations of Holocene age including early and late 
Holocene, which are equivalent of the Ramnagar and Bau- 
ras formations of Narmada alluvium (Tiwari if Bhai 1997). 
The Quaternary sediments observed in the area are present 
floodplain (To), older floodplain (Tl) and pediplain (T2). The 
fine clay and silt formations in the lower reaches reflect that 
the streams are of low gradient and more sinuosity. In this 
area monsoon is the most dominating parameter controlling 




Legend 

| Presenl flood plain 

| Older Alluvial Plain 

Compact Basalt (aa> 
Amygdaloldal Basalt 

■IRtdBsIa 



«.» 



Fig. 4: Geological Map of the Terna River Basin. 



the behavior of the river. The highly seasonal rainfall results 
in the highly seasonal discharge in the river. Most of the geo- 
morphic work is done during the flood events that occurred 
during individual storm at the end of monsoon. A large part 
of the alluvial record is therefore produced during flood and 
this is well illustrated by the fineness in the sediments (Bull 
1991; Nanson if Tooth 1999; Schumm 1978; Mishra et al. 
2003). 

4.2 Morphostratigraphy of Terna River Sediments 

Alluvial plain of the Terna River shows 3 terraces namely, 
TO, Tl, T2 in increasing order of elevations (Tab. 2). These 
terraces were described as suggested by Tiwari if Bhai 
(1997b) and Babar et al. 2010 with reference to the soil types 
and soil characteristics. 

The lithostratigraphic formations have been identified on 
the basis of nature of sediments, sedimentary structures and 
pedogenic characters. Thus we have four lithostratigraphic 
formations. 

The dark grey sand and silt with grew brown clay for- 
mation is correlated with upper Hirdepur formation of late 
(upper) Pleistocene age (13 ka to 25 ka). The Gray Sand and 
Silt formation and dark grey silt formation is correlated with 
the Ramnagar formation of late Holocene age (2 ka to 5 ka) 
(Tiwari 1999). 

4.3 Lithologs of sediments exposed along Terna River 

The lithologs of the Quaternary sediments are studied from 
the source area of the Terna River at Terkheda to the conflu- 
ence with Manjra river at Aurad Shahjani. The important 
localities of the litholog studied are Yermala, Rui, Ter, Bor- 
gaon, Ujni, Makhni, Duta, Sastur, Sawari, Gunjarga, Aurad 
Shahjani and Wanjarkheda (Fig. 5). 

At Yermala highly jointed compact basalt (aa type) lava 
flow is exposed on the right bank, while on left bank there is 
exposure of 6 m thick sediment consisting of the grey clayey 
soil followed by pebbly gravel, sandy silt and sandy gravel 
(Fig. 5 a). The litholog (Fig. 5 b) at Rui is 5.7 m thick and con- 
sist of grey clayey soil followed by sandy silt, clay, sandy silt 
and pebbly gravel along with compact basalt at bottom. The 
surprising element in the Terna River basin is the thickness 
of about 15 m of Quaternary sediment at Ter. The river bluff 



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159 



Yermala 



Rui 



BcrgaiiiRSi 
TIT 



Borgaon LB 




G::m:^::;j 



LEGEND 
l-l'KScy 

IJU AmygdalokleK Basalt 

^| Bm Clayey So: 

H Charcoal 

H Clay 

[33 Clay While 

f-"3 Clay WHl Boulder 

*.' !|| Compact Basalt 

^H Graey Clayey Soil 

[:A:Fi Gravel 

ftr 1 "! House Foundation 

U3 Pebbly Gravel 

St RedBuhe 



i..: Sandy Gravel 

Sandy sill 

Sandy £111 with Crosstaadding 

S,lt 
| . Siltstone 
: Silty Clay 
;= T I Silty Clay With Catenates 
■ Silly Clay With Pebbles 
:■: Volcanic Breccia 



Fig. 5: Lithologs of the sediments observed along the Terna Valley, a to n indicates the exposed lithologs at different localities. 



at Ter village (Fig. 5 c) in Latur District is occurring on the 
western bank of the Terna River. 

The Quaternary sediments section occurring along the 
right bank of Terna valley at Borgaon (Fig. 5 d) is 6.8 m thick. 
The section shows the silty clay at the base resting over the 
present level of the floodplain followed by grayish black peb- 
bly gravel, light grey sandy silt, dark grey sandy gravel fol- 
lowed by grey sandy silt and grey silty clay intercalated with 
thin clay layers and grey clayey soil at the top (Fig. 5 d). 
There is less thickness of sediment on the left bank of the 
Terna River i.e. 3.2 m consisting of top most grey clayey soil 
followed by grey silty clay with calcretes and jointed com- 
pact basalt at the base (Fig. 5 e). 

The Quaternary sediment found along the Terna valley 
at Ujni (Fig. 5 f) is 6.4 m thick. The section shows sandy silt 
at the base followed by alternate layers of silt and clay, peb- 
bly gravel layer, grey black clay, sandy gravel, sandy silt, 
clay and major sandy silt layers in upward succession. The 
topmost layer is the black clayey soil. The major sequence of 
this section is the thick massive grey sandy silt. 

The litho-section along left bank of the Terna River is oc- 
curring at Makni village (Fig. 5 g) and having total thickness 
of 2.4 m. The section consists of silty clay at the base, which 
is followed by the dark sandy layer, silty clay, grey brown 
clayey soil, light grey silty clay in upward succession with 
top most grey black silty clay with pebbles. 






lie-: 




Legend 



I I 

Hlghliy Dissected Plateau 
Denudational HHIt 
' Latarltlc upland 



:s ■ 



Fig. 6: Geomorphic surfaces of Terna River Basin. 



The two exposures of Litho-section at Dhuta are found at 
left bank (Fig. 5 h) and right bank (Fig. 5 i). The left bank sec- 
tion (6 m thick, Fig. 5 h) shows sandy silt (0.60 m) at the base 
followed by alternate layers of clay (0.20 m), sandy gravel 
layer (1.50 m), and silty clay with pebble (2.50 m) as a major 
layer in upward succession. The topmost layer is the black 
clayey soil (1.20 m). The sedimentary section observed along 
the right bank of Terna valley at Dhuta village (Fig. 5 i) is 6.8 
m thick. This section is developed as the compact basalt at 
the base followed by pebbly gravel (0.85 m) grayish brown 
clay (0.40), sandy gravel (0.82 m), alternating layers of silty 
clay and light grey clay and black clayey soil (0.24 m) at the 
top. 

The Quaternary sediments along Terna valley at Sastur 
(old) village (Fig. 5 j) is 6.8 m thick. This section is developed 
as the grey brown sandy silt at the base followed by grayish 
brown clay bed, grey brown sandy silt layer, sandy gravel, 
which is overlain by Grey clayey soil. Above clayey soil bed 
there is a layer of Sandy silt showing cross bedding structure 
followed by light grey clayey, silt, light grey clayey and black 
clayey soil. 

The litho-section along left bank of the Terna River is oc- 
curring at Sawari village (Fig. 5 k) and having total thick- 
ness of 2.0 m with 0.4 m jointed compact basalt exposed at 
the base. The Quaternary sediment (1.6 m thick) exposed 
consists of gravel at the base, which is followed by the silty 
clay with gravel, sandy gravel, silty clay and black clayey 
soil at the top. The similar section is also visible at Gunjarga 
(Fig. 5 1) with jointed compact basalt at the base and Quater- 
nary sediments of 2.5 m thickness. 

The sedimentary sections at Aurad Shahjani (2 m thick, 
Fig. 5 m) and Wanjarkheda (2.2 m thick, Fig. 5 n) near con- 
fluence of Terna River with the Manjra river, show the simi- 
larity in the Quaternary sediment such as the black clayey 
soil at the top followed by silt and then sandy gravel with 
jointed compact basalt at the base. The exposure of basalt 
flows show differences in these two areas. At Aurad Shah- 
jani there is exposure of Amygdaloidal basalt at the base fol- 
lowed by jointed compact basalt flow, volcanic breccia and 
jointed compact basalt, whereas at Wanjarkheda there are 
two lava flows including Amygdaloidal basalt flow at the 
base followed by jointed compact basalt flow and both are 
separated by red bole bed. 



160 



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L1KAII1AG1 IH Villi 



Fig. 7: Drainage morphology ofTerna River basin showing the migration of 
river course (after Chetty 2006). 



5 Geomorphic Characteristics 

The Terna River basin has been divided in to six geomorphic 
surfaces: present floodplain, older alluvial plain, pediplains, 
highly dissected plateau, denudational hills and lateritic up- 
land (Fig. 6) based on the topographic features, morphologi- 
cal characteristics and IRS P6 LISS-III satellite imagery. To- 
wards the source of the basin, i.e. in western and northwest- 
ern part, the area is characterised by the moderately steep 
gradient, rocky upland with deep and narrow valleys and 
moderately steep longitudinal profile. Such features are due 
to Quaternary tectonic uplift as found in upland Maharash- 
tra (Powar 1993; Radhakrishna 1993; Rajaguru et al. 1993). 
The uplifted terrace, escarpment, deep grooves, dissected col- 
luvium and a general youthful topography are believed to be 
indicative of tectonic uplift during the Quaternary. 

The middle zone of the basin corresponds to shallow and 
gently sloping pediplain. The Quaternary sediments directly 
overlie Deccan Basalt in the pediplain zone. The third zone 
towards the confluence with Manjra River includes the area 
of Pleistocene-Holocene alluvial deposits. The development 
of gullies and badlands in this zone suggests active denuda- 
tion processes, which may be attributed to the Quaternary 
tectonic uplift. 

Based on geomorphic characteristics ofTerna River and 
locations of archaeological sites, complex surface deforma- 
tional features and the shallow focal depth consideration, 
it is suggested that block rotation tectonics about the verti- 
cal axis seems to have played a crucial role in causing such 
a deadly earthquake of magnitude 6.3 (Chetty 2006). The 
block structure of the basalts also shows considerable in- 
fluence on the behaviour of seismic waves across the block 
boundaries. The seismic energy might have been channelled 
along the boundaries and interfaces amongst different com- 
positional flows. It is inferred that the block rotation model 



for the basement tectonics could be responsible for the con- 
tinued tectonic activity in Eastern Dharwar Craton (EDC) 
and in turn the inherited structural fabric and reactivation 
tectonics in the overlying Deccan traps. 

Two major sets of lineaments trending NW-SE and ENE- 
WSW are inferred from satellite data (Chetty & Rao 1994) 
revealing a well-developed mosaic of block structure (Fig. 3), 
similar to that described in the EDC. Orientation of structur- 
al and lineament fabrics in the Latur region mimics those of 
the adjacent pre-Deccan basement regions. It is most prob- 
ably the reflection of structural inheritance of the basement. 
The mechanism for this transmission is probably related to 
movements along the reactivated ancient structures in the 
basement exerting profound control in generating frac- 
tures and small-scale displacements in the overlying basalts. 
While some of the inferred lineaments terminate against the 
east-flowing Terna River course, sinistral strike-slip displace- 
ments could be seen along the ENE-WSW lineaments. Grav- 
ity maps (Mishra et al. 1998) exhibit many localized grav- 
ity highs and lows of 3-5 mgal coinciding with the major 
NW-SE striking lineaments in the region. The geomorphic 
features associated with Terna River (Chetty & Rao 1994) 
indicate that it follows a tectonically active lineament. Fur- 
ther, several archaeological sites along NW-SE trending lin- 
eament are also observed along the Terna River. Rajendran 
ir Rajendran (1998) inferred that one ancient earthquake 
of AD 450 had occurred around one such archaeological site 
near Ter. 

Examination of the Terna basin and its morphology re- 
veals the shift and migration of the river course in an alter- 
nating changing fashion (Fig. 7). Migration of the river course 
is inferred based on the imaginary midline drawn on the ba- 
sis of the symmetry of the river basin. In the northwestern 
part, the river course is east-west, and the migration is to- 
wards south. The migration direction changes in accordance 
with the change in direction of the river course. Further, it 
is also evident that the lineament fabric pattern influenced 
the river course (Fig. 3). Interestingly, the location of the ar- 
chaeological site at Ter, lies at the intersection of two major 
lineaments. The topographic profile along the Terna River 
(Fig. 8) shows steep gradient until the river takes an east- 
ward direction, 10 km west of Killari. The gradient becomes 
zero near Killari and further east. There is a gradual change 
not only in the gradient, but also in the regional topography 
from ~ 700 m in the northwest to 560 m in the east. The main 
shock and aftershock activities are restricted to the region 
of lower elevation. Considerable influence of the lineament 
fabric on the topography, drainage pattern as well as on the 
river gradient is evident. 

Any tectonic deformation that changes the slope of a river 
valley will result in corresponding changes in sinuosity so 
as to maintain an equilibrium channel slope (Keller & Pin- 



Tab. 2: Morphostratigraphy ofTerna Alluvium. 



Terrace 


Origin 


Soil Type 


Soil Characteristics 


Av. Elevation m amsl 


TO 


Depositional 


Entisol [1] 


Dark Gray Sand and Silt 


574.0 


Tl 


Erosional 


Inceptisol [II] 


Gray Sand and Silt 


582.5 


T2 


Depositional 


Vertisol [III] 


Dark Gray Sand and Silt with Gray 
Brown Clay 


591.0 



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161 




TOPOGRAPHIC PROFILE ALONG TERNA RIVER COURSE 



KILIAB MLAItSA 



-i* — tk — *- 



6 Discussion 



DISTANCE IN KILOMETERS 



Fig. 8: Topographic profile along Terna River showing steep gradient 
before becoming flat (after Chetty 2006). 




Fig. 9: Map showing segments studied for sinuosity. 



ter 1996). Thus sinuosity parameters can be used to deduce 
the role of tectonism development of channel morphology 
(eg. Gomez ir Marron 1991; Rhea 1993; Rachna Raj et al. 
1999). The sinuosity of a meandering stream is the result of 
topography and hydraulic factors, which can be expressed 
by a ratio called the index of sinuosity (Muller 1968). The 
river channel is divided into number of segments (Fig. 9) as 
suggested by Muller (1968) and Friend ir Sinha (1988) for 
determination of sinuosity parameter. The measurements of 
channel length (CL), valley length (VL) and the shortest dis- 
tance between the source and the mouth of the river (AL), i.e. 
air lengths are used for calculation of channel index, CI=CL/ 
AL and valley index VI= VL/AL. The standard sinuosity in- 
dex is calculated using SSI= CL/VL, hydrological sinuosity 
index HIS=% equivalence of CI-VI/CI-1 and topographical 
sinuosity index TSI=% equivalent ofVI-l/CI-1. The standard 
sinuosity index (SSI) for the Terna River channel varies from 
1.002 to 1.76 (Tab. 3). The increase in SSI in the lower reaches 
of the basin is accompanied by lower values of Hydraulic 
Sinuosity Index (HSI), which suggests that the hydraulic fac- 
tor is not responsible for increase in SSI in the lower reaches. 
The values of HSI vary from 2.13 to 85.58 (Tab. 3). 

Low values of HSI and correspondingly higher values of 
Topographic sinuosity index (TSI) in the upland areas and 
pediment zone suggests that the meandering streams do 
not belong to the initial denudation cycle (Friend ir Sinha 
1988), but the present area has been rejuvenated there by 
indicating the role of tectonism. As the river progresses in 
the cycle of erosion, the role of hydraulics increases and the 
role of topography decrease (Rachana Raj et al. 1999). This 
is observed in the lower reaches of the area; where there is 
a relative increase occurs in HSI though it remains substan- 
tially lower than TSI (Tab. 3). 



The Peninsular Shield of India was supposed to be seismi- 
cally stable, but the 1993 Latur earthquake indicated the seis- 
mic vulnerability of the area. The deep drilling in the Deccan 
Volcanic Province in basalt flows, on both side of 1993 rup- 
ture zone provided the evidence of a fault and displacement 
of about 6 m, at a depth of 220 m (Gupta et al. 1998). Down 
dip slickenlines on the steep dipping slickenside surface in 
the drill cores confirm dip slip nature of the fault. Howev- 
er the observed displacement is too much to account for a 
single earthquake of Mw 6.1, hence they suggested repeated 
seismicity in the area. Rajendran ir Rajendran (1999) sug- 
gested the reactivation of the pre-existing fault and evidence 
of earlier seismicity in the area by trenching in the rupture 
zone of 1993 earthquake near Killari. While Sukhija et al. 
(2006) find the wide spread geological evidence of a large 
paleoseismic event near the Meizoseismal area of the 1993 
Latur earthquake at Ter on Terna River and Halki and Shiv- 
oor on Manjra river. 

The deformational structures in the sediments observed 
are flexures, warps, buckle folds and vertical offset in the 
sediments (Fig. 10). These structures are earlier studied by 
Rajendran (1997), Rajendran ir Rajendran (1999) and 
Sukhija et al. (2006). The variation in the individual layers 
that belong to the same deforming mass can be explained 
by strain partitioning, which depends on the bulk proper- 
ties of the rock (Hatcher 1995). Because of partitioning of 
mechanical behaviour, the stiffer and more competent rocks 
are expected to show variation is shapes and wavelength of 
folds. From the style of deposition it is clear that buckling 
of the sediment strata has formed the structures in section 
at Ter. Here the buckling must have been accompanied by 
flexural slip between the layers (Fig. 11). 

The vertical offset of marker horizons at the northern part 
of the section (Fig. 12) indicates a displacement of 10-15 cm. 
The up thrown block is on the southern side of the offset 
plane. These features are observed in the 15-20 cm thick in- 
ter layers of whitish clay in blackish clay. 

Detailed assessment of morphological and morphomet- 
ry characteristics have confirmed the role of neotectonism 
in the evolution of Terna River basin. The relative degree of 
tectonic activity is also manifested by the anomalous behav- 
iour of the streams such as right angled turn of the streams, 
convergence and divergence of stream, streams flowing 
parallel to main river for a considerable distance and offset 
drainage (Babar et al. 2000). All the parameters in general, 
suggest an increasing degree of tectonic activity from lower 
reaches towards the upland source region. The alignments of 
the significant morphological features and stream orienta- 
tions have provided information about the linear tectonic el- 
ements. The anomalous behaviour of streams indicates that 
subsurface faulting may be controlling the drainage patterns 
of the basin (Kaplay et al. 2004). 

The orientations of the stream channels in the upland 
zone and in the middle reaches of the Terna River basin have 
been guided by lineaments, which are the indicators of re- 
cent tectonic activity. Higher order stream channels reflect 
the general NW-SE and E-W trend. These trends have been 
reactivated in recent times as shown by displaced Quater- 
nary deposits (Rajendran ir Rajendran 1999). The offset 



162 



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in the sedimentary section atTer (Fig. 10, 11 and 12) reflects 
only a fraction of movement in the basement fault below the 
basalt flows. On the basis of seismogenic features exposed in 
the sedimentary sections including flexures, warps, buckle 
fold and vertical offsets. Rajendran (1997) marked the sig- 
natures of pre-existing earthquake (-1500 year ago). These 
deformational features may be the result of reactivation of 
NW-SE trending fault. These older tectonic directions, al- 
though active until very recent times, had conditioned the 
drainage network in an earlier period. The TSI values indi- 
cate rejuvenation of the area leading to the dominating ef- 
fect of topography on the sinuosity of the river channels. 
The break in slope in the long profile is also indication of 
the Quaternary tectonic uplift of the area. Additional sup- 
port for the neotectonic activity in the upland zone and mid- 
dle zone of the Terna River basin is provided by valley floor 
ratios and longitudinal profile. Morphometric analysis has 
thus been useful in delineating areas with differing levels of 
tectonic activity in the basin (Babar et al. 2009). 

The reactivation of pre-existing basement structures was 
proposed by Chetty ir Rao (1994), while Kayal (2000) 
opined that the Latur earthquake could be due to interac- 




Fig. 10: Quaternary Sediments atTer showing folding in upward section 
and faulting (f-f) in the middle part. The upper layer is marked with the 
pottery layer showing the warping (Location is given in Fig. 2). Arrows 
indicate the direction of compression for folding and horizontal shortening. 




■L 

t 



■'■-- '*" 




Fig. 11: Photograph showing the flexure and horizontal shortening in the 
sediment at Ter village. 



Fig. 12: Close-view of offset in 
middle of the section at Ter 
shown in Fig. 10. 



tions of two shallow crustal faults. However, Chetty (2006), 
proposed an alternative explanation in terms of block rota- 
tion tectonics as a plausible mechanism for the Latur earth- 
quake. According to him based on the structural fabric in the 
EDC, as derived from satellite data as well as aerial photos, 
and the unusual shapes, sizes and geometry of mafic dykes 
and distinct fault systems, block rotation tectonics with 
clockwise rotations were inferred from the deformational 
system of the EDC. Block rotation is a significant mode of 
deformation in the earth's crust (Freund 1970; Kissel ir Laj 
1989; McKenzie ir Jackson 1986). The Latur region lies in 
the proximity of the Kurudwadi lineament, earlier described 
by Brahmam ir Negi (1973) as a subtrappean rift on the ba- 
sis of gravity anomalies. Based on geomorphic studies us- 
ing satellite data and aerial photos, Peshwa ir Kale (1997) 
concluded that this is a Precambrian deep crustal-scale shear 
zone comprising an array of NW-SW trending faults along 
which dextral sense of movements have taken place, even 
during the Quaternary period. This is evident from the par- 
allelism of the drainage network with the Kurudwadi linea- 
ment, suggesting the control of basement structures in their 
development. These movements based on the presence of 
sheared segments of the Archean gneisses were also respon- 
sible for the secondary development of east-west trending 
faults identified by gravity studies. Structural architecture of 
the Latur earthquake region presented in this study favours 
the block rotation model, which could be a part of dextral 
sense of shear along the NW-SE trending lineaments (Chet- 
ty 2006). 

The seismicity associated with the Killari source is com- 
parable to those in other cratons, such as Australia. Inter- 
estingly, location of historic earthquakes during AD 1201- 
1960 (Geological Survey of India) appears to be mostly con- 
fined to a 400-km-long NW corridor passing through Killari 
(Fig. l). Spatial correlation of this corridor of activity with a 
structure inferred from a variety of data as well as the fault 
plane solution of the main event suggested reactivation of a 
NW-oriented fault (Rajendran ir Rajendran 1999). Search 
for palaeoearthquakes in the vicinity of Killari led to the 
identification a deformation event dating to AD 350-450, 
at a location known as Ter, about 40 km northwest of Kil- 
lari (Rajendran 1999). The data on age dating of the char- 
coal samples varies from AD 120 to AD 1671 and is given 
in Table 4. In the present study the calendar ages of the de- 
formed section at Ter is found to be between AD 1151 to AD 



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163 





> 




b 




4 




; , 


L 




'■ ^ i 




ft 




■ *^TJ| , r f --V *- - 






» 


^J " 


■ < 




* 








1 .Mi r 1 in V-il UP 








■ \ I ....,-■ 1 






'. 


'"- ?>* V;. L ^'^ ; ^S ^:Ul„ .' 


" --v^'- 






.. 'V v ■ v ^ . "v ■■'■<.'■ ■"' 








^ .■-'-< * -' ^; ■ 










i^. 







Fig. 13: (a) Sediment section at Makni showing deformation in silty clay formation, (b) Sediment section at Dhuta along 
the left bank ofTerna valley. 



353, while for the deformed sections at Dhuta and Makhni 
the corresponding calendar ages are between AD 650 and 
AD 1183. Similarly, the deformed structure at Killari (Fig. 14) 
indicates the dates are between AD 1256 and AD 1454. 

The litholog of Quaternary sediments occurring along the 
left bank ofTerna valley at Dhuta (Fig. 5 h) is 6.0 m thick. The 
section shows the silt at the base resting over the present lev- 
el of the floodplain followed by grayish black pebbly grav- 
el, light grey sandy silt, dark grey sandy gravel followed by 
clay, grey sandy gravel and thick grey silty clay with pebble 
and black clayey soil at the top. The charcoal sample from 
this sediment (Fig. 13 b) has been dated and found the age 
of 1010 ± 110 year B.P. (Tab. 4). The sedimentary section on 
the right bank of the Terna River at Dhuta is 4.4 m thick and 
quite different than the left bank section. It consists of top 
most black clayey soil followed by alternate layers of sandy 
silt and clay, which is succeeded by sandy gravel, clay and 
pebbly gravel (with subangular pebbles) and jointed com- 
pact basalt occurs at the base (Fig. 5 i). 

The epicenter of Latur 1993 earthquake old Killari village 
is located on the left bank of the Terna River and has an 
approximately 08 m thick layer of alluvium topped by the 
anthropogenic dump. The deposit is in the form of a mound 




Fig. 14: Sediment section at Killari showing Fault at a depth of 6.20 m. 



occurring below the ruins of the Killari-Latur earthquake of 
1993. The trench is developed in this region because of the 
fact that the local people are excavating the soil for the pur- 
pose to use it as a fertilizer. The alluvium is highly dissected 
and now represented by irregular excavated mounds. Old 
Killari village was spread over these mounds, now nothing 
left except the Nilkantheshwar Temple and remains of earth- 
quake affected dump. 

The bluffs in general show evidences of deposition by 
river surges and are marked by alternating layers of coarse 
sands with cobbles and silty clay. The courser layers may 
have been deposited during the floods and fine sediments 
during the leaner seasons. Texturally the sediments can be 
classified as clay loam, sandy clay and silty clay loam. These 
types of sediments have been noted for major rivers in Ma- 
harashtra and are categorized as flood loams or diluvium 
(Rajaguru ir Kale 1985). These rivers are noted for highly 
fluctuating discharge and active channel migration (Rajag- 
uru et al. 1993). In the Ter village section, in a pit at the base 
of bluff, it is found that the alluvium extends > 2m below the 
present riverbed. This probably suggests that fluvial process- 
es at Ter (Rajendran 1997) must have started much earlier, 
analogues to other rivers in Maharashtra and the same is the 
case of the Killari area. 

The well-exposed vertical section of the mound along 
the left (southern) bank of the Terna River, was selected for 
paleoseismic investigation, this 8 m thick section (Fig. 10) 
extends in E-W trending arc measuring about 35 m long. 
This section mainly consist of dumped material like broken 
bricks, pottery, boulders etc for the top 1.5 m, followed by 
gray clays inter-bedded with varied mixtures of sand, silt 
and ash in the form of either thin layers or elongated lens- 
es and wedges. The bedding is imperfect and is commonly 
marked by colour variations in individual layers. The fluvial/ 
fluvio-lacustrine nature of bottom layers at the depth of 7.5 
m is evidenced by the presence of load cast and scour and fill 
structures deposited in a high-energy environment. Pebble/ 
stone beddings at that depth. 

The site has been modified by human activity and arti- 
facts like pottery, beads, idols, human bones and even large 
objects like earthen pots and a number of in situ wooden 



161 



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Tab. 3: Sinuosity variation in Terna River channel. 



Segment No. 


CL 
(Km) 


VL 
[Km] 


AL 
[Km] 


CI 


VI 


SSI 


HSI 


TSI 


1 


8.60 


8.52 


8.36 


1.033 


1.020 


1.014 


39.39 


60.61 


2 


9.72 


9.70 


8.52 


1.141 


1.138 


1.002 


2.13 


97.87 


3 


6.48 


6.35 


5.76 


1.125 


1.102 


1.020 


18.40 


81.60 


4 


5.28 


5.04 


4.68 


1.128 


1.077 


1.048 


39.84 


60.16 


5 


7.32 


6.97 


6.25 


1.171 


1.115 


1.050 


32.75 


67.25 


6 


6.49 


6.44 


5.76 


1.127 


1.118 


1.008 


56.52 


43.48 


7 


5.76 


5.54 


5.08 


1.134 


1.091 


1.040 


32.75 


67.25 


8 


6.00 


5.78 


5.40 


1.111 


1.087 


1.022 


21.62 


78.38 


9 


5.64 


5.62 


5.40 


1.044 


1.041 


1.004 


6.82 


93.18 


ID 


7.49 


6.94 


6.25 


1.198 


1.110 


1.079 


44.44 


55.56 


11 


9.72 


9.24 


8.43 


1.153 


1.096 


1.052 


37.25 


62.75 


12 


8.88 


8.16 


8.04 


1.104 


1.015 


1.088 


85.58 


14.42 


13 


7.08 


6.27 


6.09 


1.163 


1.030 


1.129 


81.60 


18.40 


14 


6.24 


5.48 


4.08 


1.529 


1.343 


1.138 


35.16 


64.84 


15 


8.16 


7.23 


6.25 


1.306 


1.157 


1.129 


48.69 


51.31 


16 


6.61 


5.66 


5.16 


1.281 


1.097 


1.168 


65.48 


34.52 


17 


6.27 


5.60 


5.25 


1.194 


1.067 


1.119 


65.45 


34.55 


18 


7.32 


6.25 


5.52 


1.326 


1.132 


1.171 


59.51 


40.49 


19 


5.28 


4.49 


4.20 


1.255 


1.069 


1.176 


69.33 


30.67 


20 


4.44 


3.79 


3.46 


1.284 


1.094 


1.174 


66.90 


33.10 



CL - Channel length, VL - Valley length, AL - Air length, CI - Channel index, VI - Valley index, SSI - Standard Sinuosity Index, 
HSI - Hydraulic sinuosity index, TSI - Topographic sinuosity index 



posts used for construction of various structures are present 
in the section. There is a small wedge shaped burnt layer of 
10 cm thickness is found in the section at the depth of 5.7 m 
from the ground surface. 

The structural feature observed in this section is the 
northwest dipping normal fault trending N-S (Fig. 14). The 
observed fault appears to be a secondary manifestation of a 
deep-seated disturbance in the area. Surface faults are not 
reported in the region. Ancient faults are likely to be present 
below the Deccan trap volcanic cover and do not have any 
direct expression on the surface. Hence, it becomes neces- 
sary that geomorphic evidences indicating tectonic activity 
have to be linked with seismicity via drainage pattern, soft 
sediment deformation in alluvial and colluvial sediments 
(Chetty & Rao 1994). Thus in the absence of surface expres- 
sion of fault and in view of the presence of several inferred 
faults in the region, it is thought reasonably to conclude that 
features observed in this section could the surface manifesta- 
tion of a deep seated disturbance in the region. 

The fault in the section is observed in the variegated clay/ 
silty clay beds separated by feature less horizon of 3.5 m 
thick silty clay. The fault is about 6.2 m below the ground 
surface and the observed displacement is about 40-45 cm of 
the silty clay bed. The layers above these faulted sediments 
are undisturbed, while the clay horizon at the lower portion 
of the fault shows the severity of frictional and compres- 
sional forces acting simultaneously on it. It is attributed by 
the present study that the displacement along the fault and 
slickensided surfaces of the clay blocks as the surface mani- 
festation of the tectonic disturbance. To assess the possible 
time of the faulting a number of charcoal samples were col- 



lected around the fault as well as from the rest of the section. 
The well-exposed vertical Section of the mound along the 
left bank of the Terna River is 3.5 m thick section (Fig. 15 a) 
extends in a NE-SW trending arc measuring about 25 m long. 
This section mainly consist of dumped material like broken 
bricks, pottery, boulders etc for the top 0.35 m, followed by 
gray clays inter-bedded with varied mixtures of sand, silt 
and ash in the form of either thin layers or elongated lens- 
es and wedges. The bedding is imperfect and is commonly 
marked by colour variations in individual layers. The sedi- 
mentary unit observed in the section on the whole has been 
warped at different scales. On a large scale, the entire section 
appeared to have been folded. Individually, the structures 
present in the section can be broadly categorized as flexures, 
warps and buckle fold (Fig. 15 a). The burn layer in the same 
section shows the folding (Fig. 15 b). The structures includ- 
ing warping and low amplitude folding of near surface beds 
of alternating clay and cohesion less sediment have been re- 
ported from the other earthquake prone areas (Audemard £r 
de Santis 1991). It was observed that the structures at Killari 
are better developed on more competent layers such as the 
layers containing ceramics and pebble foundations made by 
settlers, although weak traces of folds can be discerned on 
the argillaceous layers as well, on cluster look. Variation in 
intensity of deformation observed in individual layers that 
belong to the same deforming mass can be explained by 
strain partitioning, which depends on the bulk properties of 
the rock (Hatcher 1995). From the style of the deformation, 
it is clear that the structure in the section at Killari have been 
formed by buckling of the sediment strata. 



EBG / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2D12 / 159-167 / D0I 10.3285/eg.61.2.D4 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



165 




Fig 15: (a) Sediment section at Killari showing Folding in lower part at a depth of 3.87 m, (b) Sediment section at Killari 
showing Warp at a depth of 2.60 m in a burn layer. 



7 Conclusion 



Acknowledgement 



The study of lithologs and the description of Quaternary sed- 
iments of Terna River basin indicate that there is significant 
amount of the coarse gravelly deposits along with silty de- 
posits. These deposits are indicator of changes in the hydrau- 
lic conditions which are induced by climate or tectonics. The 
lithology of the Terna valley alluvium suggests that the Older 
Quaternary Alluvial deposits are of Upper Pleistocene age. 
Lithostratigraphically the Quaternary deposits of the Terna 
River basin have been divided into three informal forma- 
tions including (i) dark grey silt formation - Late Holocene, 
(ii) Light grey silt formations - Early Holocene, (iii) Dark 
grayish brown silt formation - Late Pleistocene. The basin 
area has been divided in to six Quaternary geomorphic units 
including present floodplain, older alluvial plain, pediplains, 
highly dissected plateau, denudational hills and lateritic up- 
land. The lineaments occur along NE-SW, NW-SE, E-W and 
WNW-ESE directions, which control the basement structure 
in the study area. The TSI values indicate rejuvenation of the 
area leading to the dominating effect of topography on the 
sinuosity of the river channels. The break in slope in the long 
profile is also indication of the Quaternary tectonic uplift of 
the area. The radiocarbon dating of charcoal samples indi- 
cate that the event of palaeoseismic activity might had taken 
place along the Terna valley from AD 971 to AD 1183 and at 
Ter it may be AD 1151 to AD 353. 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support by 
DST, New Delhi, under the project F. No. SR/S4/ES-198/2006, 
dated 05.06.2007. We are also indebted to our College Princi- 
pal, Dr. P.L. More, for encouragement and constant support 
for research. We are also very much grateful to Dr. D.V. Red- 
dy for the Radio Carbon dating of Charcoal samples from 
Killari area KLl and KL2. 



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Lab No. 


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' based "C half-life=5730 yr 



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167 



E&G 



Quaternary Science Journal 

Volume 61 / Number 2 / 2012 / 169-183 / DQI 10.3285/eg.61.2.05 
www.quaternary-science.net 



GEQZDN SCIENCE MEDIA 
ISSN 0424-7116 



Reconstructing 2500 years of land use history on the Kernel 
Heath [Kemeler Heide], southern Rhenish Massif, Germany 



Christian Stolz, Sebastian Bohnke, Jorg Grunert 



How to cite: 



Abstract: 



Stolz, Ch., Bohnke, S., Grunert, J. (2012): Reconstructing 2500 years of land use history on the Kernel Heath (Kemeler Heide), 
southern Rhenish Massif, Germany. - E&G Quaternary Science Journal, 61 (2): 169-184. DOI: 10.3285/eg.61.2.05 

The Kernel Heath (Kemeler Heide) in the Lower Taunus Mts. was used as a heath until the early 19 th century. Today, it is the most 
densely wooded area of the German state Hesse (about 60 %). The history of the regional landscape and the land-use patterns of 
this area in the last 2500 years will be reconstructed by different methods and considering relicts, which have been preserved in the 
forest. 

For reconstructing the former situation, three deserted agriculture areas with well recognizable field balks under forest were inves- 
tigated for the first time by 14 C and OSL dating, sediment analysis and mapping. Furthermore, points of interest were the traces of 
Early Modern charcoal burning. For this purpose, we reconstructed the spectra of tree-species of the burned wood and dated it by 
14 C. In addition, we dated the formation of two former slag heaps, of a medieval refuge castle, and calculated the sedimentation rate 
of a small colluvial filling of a slope depression that was deposited since the Roman times. 

Regarding the results, there are clear traces of land use during the Iron Age and Roman Period, and strong impacts during the 
Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. Thus, it is likely, that the deforestation in the investigated area was much higher during 
these periods than previously believed. Most of the field balks originate from the High Middle Ages. In contrast, during the Early 
Modern Period, the landscape was predominantly pastureland. 



Kurzfassung: 



Keywords: 



Die Rekonstruktion der Landnutzungsgeschichte wahrend der letzten 2500 Jahre auf der Kemeler Heide im sudlichen 
Rheinisches Schiefergebirge 

Die Kemeler Heide im westlichen Hintertaunus ist heute Teil des grofitetl zusammenhangenden Waldgebietes in Hessen mit einer 
Waldbedeckung von rund 60 %. Bis ins friihe 19. Jahrhundert wurde sie jedoch als Heide genutzt. Mit der vorliegenden Studie 
wird versucht, die regionale Landnutzungsgeschichte auf der Kemeler Heide mithilfe verschiedenartiger methodischer Ansiitze zu 
rekonstruieren. Eine besondere Beriicksichtigung erfahren dabei historische Relikte, die sich im Wald erhalten haben. 
Zur Rekonstruktion friiherer Landnutzungssysteme wurden hochmittelalterliche Ackerraine in drei verschiedenen Wustungsfluren 
kartiert und im Hinblick auf ihre Sedimentzusammensetzung und ihr Alter untersucht. Die Datierung derartiger Ackerkolluvien 
erfolgte erstmals mit mehreren 14 C- und einer OSL-Datierung. Ein weiterer Schwerpunkt der Untersuchungen waren frtihneuzeit- 
liche Holzkohlemeilerplatze, anhand derer die Artenzusammensetzung der friihneuzeitlichen Walder rekonstruiert werden konnte. 
Zusatzlich wurden auch zwei verschiedene Schlackenhalden als Hinterlassenschaften hochmittelalterlicher Eisenverhuttung datiert 
und die Ergebnisse mit den Sedimentationsraten einer kolluvialen Dellenfiillung verglichen. 

Dabei konnte nachgewiesen werden, dass die anthropogene Landnutzung auf der Kemeler Heide spatestens wahrend der Eisenzeit 
begann. Die starksten Einflusse erfolgten jedoch erst wahrend des hohen Mittelalters und der friihen Neuzeit. Besonders im Hoch- 
mittelalter fiihrte ausgedehnter Ackerbau dazu, dass der Waldanteil weitaus kleiner war als heute. Die meisten Ackerraine stammen 
daher aus dieser Periode. Wahrend der Neuzeit wurde dagegen vermehrt Heidewirtschaft betrieben. 

Field balks, charcoal burning, iron slag, deforestation, sedimentation rate, Rhenish Massif, Taunus Mts. 



Addresses of authors: Ch. Stolz, University of Flensburg, Department of Geography and its Didactics, Auf dem Campus 1, D-24943 Flensburg, E-Mail: 
christian.stolz@uni-flensburg.de, S. Bohnke, J. Grunert, Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz, Department of Geography, 
D-55099 Mainz 



1 Introduction 
1.1 Open questions 



The Kernel Heath (Kemeler Heide; Fig. l) is a historic area of 
around 60 km 2 in the Lower Taunus Mts. characterized by 
wide spread etchplains and deeply incised valleys at their 
edges (Huser 1972). Today, about 60 % of the former heath 
area is forested (forest area of the community of Heiden- 
rod; Hessisches Statistisches Landesamt 2008). However, 
historical reports confirm a large deforestation in the past 



(Ehmke 2003). So far, very little is known about the real pro- 
portion of the deforested area and land use intensity during 
different prehistoric and historic periods in this area. 

In at least half of the wooded area of the Lower Tau- 
nus Mts., remains of former agriculture, such as field balks 
(Fig. 4) and clearance cairns are visible, which give evidence 
of an enhanced cropland area in the past. In most cases, the 
age of these relicts is quite unknown. In addition, there are 
frequently found kiln sites as relicts of former charcoal pro- 
duction for the local iron industry. 



168 



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Fig. 1: Regional setting of 
the investigation area. 

Abb. 1: Lage der Unter- 
suchu ngsge biete. 



The special aim of this study is to create a chronologi- 
cal order of these remains for reconstructing the land-use 
distribution during specific periods and for comparing this 
with historical data: How old are the field balks and clear- 
ance cairns at selected locations, how are they structured 
and, in which way is it possible to date the concerning col- 
luvial sediments? In which periods agricultural activities can 
be proven on the Kernel Heath? Furthermore, when the kiln 
sites were being used and which was the composition of the 
forests? Moreover, this study focuses on the consequences of 
former land-use. This was done by the investigation of the 
filling of a small valley the chronology of which was used to 
identify local soil erosion phases. The different sedimenta- 
tion rates of the valley filling are given in mm/a. 

We used a small valley filling for the chronological classi- 
fication of local soil erosion phases (listed in mm/a), respec- 
tively by heavy rainfalls and a strengthened susceptibility on 
soil erosion by land-use. 

Altogether, we investigated 7 forested locations in 3 dif- 
ferent parts of the Kernel Heath by pedological analyses of 
selected soil profiles inside of field balks, datings of organic 
remains by AMS- 14 C, one dating of Holocene colluvium by 
Optical Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) and by the anthra- 
cologic analyses of charcoals from kiln sites (Fig. l): 

a) 3 former field locations: In the Pfaffenwald forest 
(the term means "forest of pastors", in the past it was prob- 
ably owned by the church), district of Heidenrod-Zorn (N 
50°10'8.6l", E 7°55'34.3"); in the Ohren-Forest (the term 
Ohren means the former presence of maple trees), district 
of Heidenrod-Niedermeilingen (N 50.1742°, E 7.9458°); in the 
Struth forest, district of Aarbergen-Kettenbach at the outside 
rim of the Kernel Heath (N 50.257°, E 8.065°). 

b) 2 charcoal kiln sites: In the Pfaffenwald Forest, district 
of Heidenrod-Obermeilingen (N 50.167°, E 7.919°) and in 
the Reifibriihl forest, district of Heidenrod-Zorn (N 50.169°, 
E 7.930°; both are located on north-facing slopes which im- 
proves comparability). 

c) 2 slag heaps: In the district of Zorn, five slag-heaps in 
the forests were found. Most of them are not located close to 
flowing waters, which may be a hint of a relatively high age 



(14 th century and earlier; Geisthardt 1954). The first one we 
investigated is located a few meters beside the refuge castle 
(see below). Another one is located in the upper course of the 
small stream Rodelbach near Zorn (N 50.15829°, E 7.93905°). 

d) 1 refuge castle in the district of Heidenrod- Zorn: The 
refuge castle "Alte Schanz" (N 50.1538°, E 7.9145°) is an 18m 
broad and 1.5-3m high, round earthwork in the Struthheck 
forest with a moat around. Von Cohausen (1879) assumed 
it to be a part of transition phase from Early to High Mid- 
dle Ages. 

e) The sediment sequence of the alluvial fan of a small 
valley near the village of Kernel, which included a Roman 
water well (N 50.1650°, E 8.0147°). 

2 Regional setting and state of research 
2.1 Physical conditions 

The Kernel Heath belongs to the northern foreland of the 
Taunus mountain range. The altitudes range from 350 to 
540m a.s.l. Its bedrock consists almost exclusively of mostly 
clayey Paleozoic metamorphs, which are completely weath- 
ered on the higher etchplain levels (Felix-Henningsen 
1990). The bedrock on the slopes is comprehensively covered 
by loess-containing periglacial cover beds on the slopes typi- 
cally of at least three different solifluction layers. This pro- 
file can be typically divided by the German concept of per- 
iglacial slope deposits into at least two, however, more often 
into three different solifluction layers (Semmel 1968, Kleber 
1997, Volkel et al. 2002, Stolz ir Grunert 2010, Semmel t 
Terhorst 2010). In the Kernel region, the cover-beds mostly 
consist of a loess containing upper layer and one or several 
basal layers, rich in debris. Additionally, at protected loca- 
tions there are one or several loess containing intermediate 
layers. Common soil types on these sediments are cambisols, 
cambisol-luvisols, luvisols and podsolic cambisols. Due to 
the clayey weathered bedrock, several of these profiles show 
stagnic conditions. The annual precipitation rate is approx. 
750 mm and the annual temperature is 8 °C (data from the 
climate station of Waldems-Steinfischbach, measuring peri- 
od 1961-1990; DLR-RLP 2012). 



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169 



2.2 Cultural history 



Principally, the German Uplands can be divided into older 
and younger settled areas. The first ones, settled from pre- 
historic periods to the Early Middle Ages, are the loess-rich 
forelands of the mountain ranges, the tectonic depressions 
and the valleys of the large rivers, such as the Rhine (Born 
1989). An exception is the village of Kernel. Its name with- 
out a suffix, respectively with the former suffix -aha, is of 
prehistoric age and probably of Celtic origin (Bach 1927). 
The settlement was located at the important "Hohe Strafie" 
(High Street; connection between the old cities of Mainz and 
Koblenz) on the watershed between the Lahn and Rhine 
catchments. Along this probably prehistoric road, there are 
hundreds of grave mounds from the Iron Age. Due to their 
special construction some of them must be of Bronze Age. 
One example was been found in the district of Laufenselden 
(6 km S of Kernel; Kubach 1984). Basically, most of these 
grave mounds in the Lower Taunus are located along 
paths on the watersheds and typically arranged like cem- 
eteries (Herrmann & Jockenhovel 1990, Behaghel 1949). 
However, prehistoric settlements are unknown in this area 
(Schwind 1984). Kubach (1984) believes that there is a find- 
ing gap in the Taunus Mts. Evidences of settlement activities 
for this period are located in the Rhine-Main lowland, the 
Basin of Neuwied and the adjacent early settled areas out- 
side of the Taunus Mts. 

Furthermore, the Romans had settled in the region be- 
tween 10 and 260 AD and built up the Upper German-Rae- 
tian Limes. Its western part was probably constructed since 
85 AD and crossed the prehistoric "Hohe Strafie" near the 
village of Kernel (Baatz & Herrmann 2002). Roman forts on 
the Kernel Heath were located in Kernel and Holzhausen an 
der Haide. Several villae rusticae were only known from the 
southern Rhine-Main area. 

From the Early Middle Ages (Merovingian Period) only 
some findings are known from the Basin of Nastatten (Neu- 
mayer 1993). 

At the end of the 10 th century AD, the region was ruled by 
the archbishops of Mainz, who started a colonization phase. 
In many upland regions of western Germany, the coloniza- 
tion of the High Middle Ages (Hochmittelalterlicher Landes- 
ausbau) started at the same time (Born 1989). Numerous 
settlements with the suffixes -roth, -schied and -hain are in- 
dicative of this period on the Kernel Heath (Bach 1927). In 
agriculture, the shifting cultivation including grassland and 
cropland phases (Feld-Gras-Wechselwirtschaft) was widely 
disseminated (Ehmke 2003, cf. Born 1989). 

Bork et al. (1998) describe a change from the bread-eat- 
ing to meat-eating people in Central Europe since the Late 
Middle Ages. Therefore, the term "heath" can be explained 
by a predominant use of pastureland, mostly for sheep in a 
sparsely wooded area during the Early Modern Period (since 
approx. 1500 AD; cf. Born 1989) up to the beginning of the 
19 th century. The main part of the heath was an area with 
common grazing rights for everyone's animals (Allmende). 
In most villages, there were many more sheep than inhabit- 
ants during the Early Modern Period (Stolz 2008). 

The small town of Nastatten at the rim of the Kernel Heath 
was a center of wool weaving and textile fabrication since 
the 16 th century, which was already mentioned in the 13 th 



century (Spielmann 1926). During the 15* and 16 th century, 
towels from Kernel heath and from the surrounding Nassau 
and Hesse territories were even traded by the powerful mer- 
chant family, Fugger, in Augsburg, Bavaria (Orth 1953). 

At the same time, the region was also a center of iron pro- 
duction with a high consumption of charcoal. 

The charcoal which was primarily needed for iron-smelt- 
ing was produced in numerous charcoal kilns. For produc- 
tion, small round or oval leveled places on slopes or on pla- 
teaus were prepared by the charcoal-burners. On these plac- 
es, the wood branches were stacked and covered by grass 
and earth material. As a result, inside of the kiln was a lack 
of oxygen, which prohibited quick burning. Only the vola- 
tile wood gases burned, which resulted the wood to become 
transformed into pure carbon. By the introduction of fossil 
coal after 1850 AD, charcoal burning was strongly declining; 
in the 20 th century the profession became extinct (cf. Kortz- 
fleisch 2008). 

The main consumer of the charcoal from the Kernel Heath 
was the iron melt of Michelbach (10 km NNE of Kernel). It 
has been running since 1656. Charcoal has not been in use 
since 1856 (Stolz 2008, Geisthardt 1957). Maybe also the 
melt of Geroldstein in the Wisper valley (12 km SW of Kern- 
el, worked from 1589 to 1634 AD) and the melt of Katzenel- 
nbogen (14 km N of Kernel, worked from 1736 to 1840 AD; 
Geisthardt 1957, Herold 1974, Ehmke 2003) were consum- 
ers of the charcoal from the Kernel Heath. By 1677, the melt 
of Michelbach was forced to get its charcoal from the for- 
ests on the quartzite mountain range of the Taunus because 
of a severe lack of charcoal in its surroundings. In 1780, the 
iron melts of the Nassau-Idstein county employed 300-400 
people only for the purpose of charcoal and wood transport 
(Geisthardt 1957: 169). The melt of Katzenelnbogen was 
temporarily shut down around 1810 because of the absence 
of charcoal (Herold 1974). 

The few remaining forests were of great importance to 
the people. Harsh punishments were the consequences for 
the theft of wood, grass, green branches for cattle feed, leaf 
litter, charcoal, oak bark for tannery, and venison (Roedler 
1910). The consequence of this overexploitation was in the 
neighbored Aar valley near Michelbach the formation and 
further development of more than 200 gully systems (Stolz 
& Grunert 2006, Stolz 2008). Similar situations are known 
from other parts of the Rhine-Main area (Moldenhauer et 
al. 2010, Semmel 1995, Bauer 1993). 

Already in the beginning of the 18 th century, landlords 
tried to draw a clear border between fields and forests by the 
enacting of special laws (Ehmke 2003, Kaltwasser 1991). 
Since 1815, the local Earls of Nassau (Herzoge von Nassau) 
started a reforestation campaign led by the forest scientist, 
Ludwig Hartig (Kuls 1951). In forest district of Bad Schwal- 
bach (Kernel region) the forests increased from between 1816 
and 1866 of 1670ha (Kaltwasser 1991). By 1926, only a few 
remains of the heath existed (Roedler 1926). 

So far, there are no pollen data from the Kernel heath, but 
from the Usa Valley (40 km in the NE) and from the Lower 
Westerwald Mts. (40 km in the NW). Schmenkel (2001) evi- 
denced in the Usa Valley a first significant increase of non- 
tree pollen during the iron age but sinking back in the Ro- 
man Period. However, cereal pollen could be first evidenced 
since Early Middle Ages. The largest proportion of non-tree 



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pollen is proven for the High Middle Ages. Hildebrandt 
et al. (2001) confirm in the Westerwald a low level of beech 
pollen (Fagus sylvatica) and a moderate rise of grass pollen 
(Poaceae) during the High Middle Ages. This was followed 
by a reforestation phase during the Late Medieval destruc- 
tion period from about 1320 AD, which affected especially 
the uplands in Central Europe (Hildebrandt 2004; Abel 
1976). While this time the values of beech pollen in the West- 
erwald are more than tripled. 

Concerning the intensity of soil erosion, Becker (2011) 
assumed a total rate of soil erosion since the Roman period 
of almost lm, proven by the depth of an investigated Limes- 
ditch in the village of Kernel. Furthermore, three charcoal 
particles from the filling of the ditch were dated by "C to a 
period between 3 rd and 6 th century AD as indication for hu- 
man activities and fire events. 

In the neighboring upper course of the Aar valley, there is, 
however, no evidence of prehistoric or Roman floodplain de- 
posits, although the Limes crosses the Aar valley in this area. 
First sedimentation could not have been proven until 1000 
AD. In the lower course of the Aar the overbank fines are of 
earliest Bronze age, but the main part was deposited not until 
Early Modern period (Stolz 2011a; Stolz ir Grunert 2008). 

3 Results from other mountain areas 

Increased soil erosion in Central Europe is primarily trig- 
gered by anthropogenic land-use or by climate (cf. Dikau 
et al. 2005; Bork et al. 1998). First anthropogenic triggered 
erosion events are known for the Neolithic Period in the ear- 
ly settled parts of Germany (Lang 2003; Dreibrodt 2010). 
However, the sedimentation of Holocene colluvia started 
during quite different periods, just like the temporal peaks of 
soil erosion and redeposit are varied (cf. Leopold & Volkel 
2007, Wunderlich 2000, Dreibrodt ir Bork 2005, Dot- 
terweich et al. 2003, Bork et al. 1998, Semmel 1993, Bibus 
1989). Including the results of Holocene German river activ- 
ity, summarized by Hoffmann et al. (2008), the sediment 
fluxes until 2250 BC are mainly coupled to climate. Since a 
geomorphologic activity phase 1320-820 BC, the influence 
cannot clearly be related to climate but rather to anthropo- 
genic influence. 

In contrast, Mackel et al. (2009) describe a very early be- 
ginning of anthropogenic influences on the landscape in low 
mountain ranges of the Central Black Forest and the Kai- 
serstuhl Mt. (Southwestern Germany; 250 km S of Kernel). 
By sedimentological investigations and pollen analyses, an 
anthropogenic influenced sedimentation of loamy river sedi- 
ments and slope colluvia could be proven since Neolithic, 
even for the river valleys of the Black Forest. The highest 
sedimentation values in these valleys were detected dur- 
ing Iron Age and Late Middle Ages. These results become 
confirmed by Rosch ir Tserendorj (2011) who detected a 
shrunken forest cover to less than 70% in the Northern Black 
Forest Mts. in the Iron Age. During the Roman period and 
the following Migration Period the forest cover rises again. 

For the High Middle Ages Wolters (2007) described a 
clear rising of Poaceae pollen and a moderate shrinking of 
arboreal pollen for two spring mires near Johanniskreuz in 
the Palatinate Forest (95 km SSW of Kernel), a young settled 
region of SW-Germany in the Bunter Sandstone. Bork et al. 



(1998) assume that the biggest proportion of forest distribu- 
tion in Germany within the last 1000 years is during this 
period. Mackel et al. (2009) detected a gap in sedimentation 
within profiles of the Black Forest at the transition between 
Early and High Middle Ages followed by strong sedimenta- 
tion of particular alluvial sediments from the Upper Rhine 
Rift to the watershed of the Black Forest. 

However, very little is known about the real proportion 
of deforested areas and land use intensity during different 
periods in Central Europe. In many cases, there are indices 
for a stronger utilization of woods and forests during sev- 
eral historical periods (cf. Ludemann ir Nelle 2002, Kuster 
2008). Another method reconstructing former forests is the 
anthracologic analysis of former kiln sites. Due to their in- 
vestigations of charcoal samples from the Palatinate Forest 
Hildebrandt et al. (2007) described a strong overexploita- 
tion of the forests as consequence of charcoal burning and 
harvesting especially during the 18 th century. In the central 
Black Forest, Ludemann (2008) indicated a main period of 
charcoal burning in the 16 th and 17 th century. Similar results 
are known from the Harz Mts. (northern Germany; Hille- 
brecht 1982). 

Evidences indicating former cropping are field balks and 
clearance cairns known from different European mountain 
areas. In most cases, the age of these relicts is quite un- 
known. For some examples a formation during High Middle 
Ages is assumed (cf. Born 1961; Scharlau 1961). 

4 Materials and methods 

Many of the studied sites pits had to be dug with the help 
of an excavator. Several profiles were investigated according 
to the rules set by the German Bodenkundliche Kartieran- 
leitung (Ad-hoc AG Boden 2005) and International Union 
of Soil Sciences (2006). Laboratory analyses were conducted 
according to Blume (2000). The parameters analyzed were 
grain size, pH, carbonate content, organic matter and heavy 
mineral content. The determination of heavy minerals was 
made by M. Guddat-Seipel, Bad Nauheim. 

The presence of Laacher See tephra in the field was prov- 
en by rapid testing, which is a method that was employed by 
Salter if Felix-Henningsen (2006): bringing the sample into 
contact with filter paper impregnated with a 0.1% solution of 
phenolphtaleine in ethanol and a 5% aqueous NaF solution. 

Dateable fragments of charcoal were separated from col- 
luvial sediments by an archaeobotanical elutriation proce- 
dure of five liters sediment per sample (cf. Jacomet ir Kreuz 
1999). These samples were not taken in regular intervals, but 
rather with regard to genetic layers and soil horizons. 

Another possibility to reconstruct former land-use is of- 
fered by the analysis of charcoal kiln sites. By this method 
it is possible to indicate the used and, in consequence, the 
availability of wood species in the surroundings of a kiln. 
The charcoals from two different kiln sites were taken by 
sieve with a mesh size of 10 mm. To avoid any contamina- 
tion while sampling, the individual layers of charcoal con- 
taining soil sediment were removed in thin layers by a small 
spade and a spatula (Fig. 8). Because of the low sediment- 
thickness on the investigated kiln sites, the samples of at 
least 100 charcoal fragments were taken in only two different 
depths of the Sttibbewall (Fig. 7). A further sample was taken 



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171 



on the surface in the center of the kiln site. Thereafter, the 
charcoals were identified under a reflected light microscope 
with a magnification range of 100 to 400x (Schweingruber 
1990; cf. Hillebrecht 1982, Manske 1997, Hildebrandt et 
al. 2001, Ludemann if Nelle 2002, Hildebrandt et al. 2007, 
Kortzfleisch 2008, Ludemann 2008). For identification, 
it is necessary to look at the charcoal in radial, longitudi- 
nal and tangential sections. The relevant characteristics of 
wood anatomy are the distribution and the size of the pores, 
the vascular rays the presence of spiral thickenings and the 
pits inside of the pores. In most cases, it is only possible to 
identify the genus and not the precise tree species (Nelle 
& Schmidgall 2003). After the identification procedure, 
the fragments of every genus were counted to identify the 
number of units (the charcoals were not weighted; therefore, 
G/N values for the individual samples could not be calcu- 
lated; cf. Nelle ir Schmidgall 2003). Other parameters like 
the former diameter of the wood were not measured. Some 
of the charcoal fragments or woods were chosen for radio- 
carbon-dating at the Radiocarbon Laboratories of Erlangen 
University (Germany), Poznan University (Poland) and Be- 
ta Analytics (USA). With regard to these results, it should 
be noted that there are possible error sources. Fundamen- 



tally, charcoal fragments can be much older as the time of 
sediment production. Thus, it has to be considered that 14 C- 
datings give only minimum ages (terminus post quern). Fur- 
thermore, disturbances and a vertical displacement by past 
land-use or bioturbation are possible. However, the deeper 
the sediment is taken beneath the surface, the possibility of 
this error becomes smaller. 

Additionally, one OSL (Optical Stimulated Luminescence) 
sample was dated at the Department of Geography of the 
Humboldt-University of Berlin. Within the interpretations of 
the results, it must be observed that "C and OSL ages are not 
exactly equivalent with historic data but rather only a statis- 
tical probability (cf. Geyh 2008). 

5 Results 

5.1 Former field balks in forests 

Field balks on slopes and accumulations consisting of gath- 
ered stones and colluvium on flat ground (in some parts of 
Germany such small landforms are called Ackerberge; Fig. 4) 
occur frequently in the forests of the Kernel Heath. At three 
different locations, we opened pits by an excavator to a 
depth of 300 cm. 




Gathered stones 



*$£**-* 



Legend 



Erosion . j l Accumulation 



[J]] Soil formation 

yy\ Holocene 

^ colluvium 

r~l Upper layer 

™ (E) 



[~3 Upper layer (B tg ) 

□ intermediate 
layers 

| | Basal layer 
P^l Saprolite 



cal. C samples (charcoal) 
@ (379-245 BC), displaced 
(D 1044-1136 AD 
® OSL: 110 ± 230 BC 
(3) 1351-1219 BC 
@ 1210-1280 AD 



1 m- 




0,5 - 


> 




horizontal 


- 


1 i 1 



2 m 



Draft: C. Stolz. 

Cartography: 

S. Bohnke. 

Dept. of Geography, 

Mainz University 

(2010). 



Fig. 2: Longitudinal section through the investigated field balk in the Pfaffenwald forest. 
Abb. 2: Langsprofil durch den untersuchten Ackerrain im Pfaffenwald. 



172 



E6G / Vol. Bl / No. 2 / 2012 / 1BB-1B3 / D0I 10.3285/eg.61.2.D5 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



5.1.1 Deserted fields in Pfaffenwald forest near the 
village of Zorn [N 50°10'8.61", E 7°55'34.3") 

In the Pfaffenwald forest (Fig. 5), there are two well visible, 
as well as some indistinct field balks, forming long-striped 
field terraces on a north-exposed, 4-9° inclined slope. The 
recent forest consists of tall, 160 year old beeches. 

In one of the balks, a pit was dug and another one 10 m 
upwards on the field terrace, in which a stone cluster (slates 
and quartzites) became visible within the balk (Fig. 2). Down 
to a depth of 100 cm, a Holocene colluvium has been accumu- 
lated by former agriculture. Its texture is very homogenous 
and clayey, because of its origin as an eroded soil (Tab. 1). 
The slightly brighter color of the uppermost 30 cm layer in- 
dicates an initial soil formation, while the texture and other 



parameters are inconspicuous. Underneath, the clay con- 
tent rises and the soil aggregates are covered by well visible 
clay films indicating an eroded fossil Bt horizon, 33 cm thick 
(Tab. 1). The typically high contents of the heavy minerals 
augite, brown hornblende and titanite indicate the pumice of 
the event of Lake Laach. Thus, this layer represents the up- 
per layer, which was active latest during Younger Dryas (cf. 
Semmel 2002; Tab. 2). The Holocene colluvium also contains 
the Lake Laach heavy minerals because of its origin from the 
eroded upper layer upslope. 

Below the upper layer, two individual intermediate lay- 
ers are deposited, which have a high content of skeleton 
(stones) and loess-like sediments. The typical heavy miner- 
als of loess-like garnet and green hornblende are detectable 
(cf. Semmel 2002). The basal layer below only consists of lo- 



Tab. 1: Sedimentological data of the field balk profile in the Pfaffenwald forest. 

Tab. 1: Sedimentologische Daten zum Profit innerhalb des Aekerrains im Pfaffenwald. 



Horizon/layer 


Depth 


gS 


mS 


fS 


ffS 


gU 


mU 


fU 


T 


Skeleton 
content 


pH 


Loss on 
ignition 


Color 


Charcoal 




cm 


% 


% 


% 


% 


% 


% 


% 


% 


% 




% 


Munsell 


mg/L 


1 Bw/M [colluvium] 


10-30 


11,45 


6,37 


4,43 


3,83 


18,05 


17,46 


12,18 


26,42 


28,73 


3,97 


3,75 


2,5Y-4/4 


4,53 


1 M [colluvium] 


30-83 


6,88 


6,99 


4,97 


3,79 


19,28 


18,53 


12,22 


27,36 


34,28 


3,97 


2,72 


2,5Y-4/4 


463,57 


1 M [colluvium) 


83-100 


7,00 


7,21 


5,32 


3,98 


18,47 


17,78 


11,56 


28,67 


25,52 


3,91 


2,77 


5Y/R-4/6 


42,87 


2fBtg 

[upper layer] 


100-125 


3,80 


8,43 


6,12 


4,07 


17,94 


16,55 


11,59 


31,51 


9,89 


3,88 


2,86 


5Y/R-4/6 


23,40 


lfBtg 
[upper layer] 


125-133 


8,86 


6,79 


3,45 


3,19 


21,07 


20,08 


11,77 


26,79 


18,84 


3,85 


2,39 


10YR-4/4 


n.a. 


3Cg 
[interm. layer] 


133-175 


20,87 


11,30 


3,84 


4,74 


14,12 


11,97 


10,27 


22,89 


55,08 


3,85 


2,62 


10YR-5/B 


0,00 


3Cg 
[interm. layer] 


175-218 


16,67 


11,08 


4,79 


7,61 


13,31 


12,62 


12,79 


21,14 


51,32 


3,79 


2,79 


10YR-5/6 


n.a. 


4C 

[basal layer] 


218-244 


23,48 


14,85 


5,05 


4,81 


10,32 


10,87 


12,92 


17,71 


42,14 


3,79 


2,99 


10YR-6/6 


n.a. 


5R 

[weathered slates] 


244-280 


22,17 


14,63 


5,18 


5,52 


11,73 


11,56 


13,81 


15,39 


62,61 


4,04 


2,63 


10YR-B/4 


n.a. 


M = Holocene colluvium, gS = course sand, mS = middle sand, fS = fine sand, ffS = finest sand, gU = course silt, mil = middle silt, fU = fine silt, T 
= clay 



Tab. 2: Heavy mineral content of the field balk profile in the Pfaffenwald forest. (M = Holocene colluvium, UL = upper 
layer, IL = intermediate layer, BL - basal layer). 

Tab. 2: Schwermineralgehalt des Ackerrain-Profils im Pfaffenwald (M = Kolluvium, UL = Hauptlage, IL = Mittellage, BL = 
Basislage). 



Horizon/layer 


Typical for 

[Semmel 2002] 


Bw/M 


M 


llfBtg.UL 


llfBtg.UL 


IIICg.IL 


III Cg, IL 


Depth [cm] 


30-83 


83-100 


100-125 


125-133 


133-175 


175-218 


Augite 


pumice 


46 


60 


59 


84 


18 


1 


Epidote/zoisite 




3 

















Garnet 


loess 





1 








1 





Green hornblende 


loess 


1 

















Brown hornblende 


pumice 


127 


145 


155 


121 


28 


2 


Titanite 


pumice 


42 


34 


32 


25 


2 





Zircon 




15 


12 


14 


10 


5 





SUM 




237 


252 


260 


240 


57 


7 



M = Holocene colluvium, UL = upper layer, IL = intermediate layer, BL = basal layer; analysis: M. Guddat-Seipel, Bad Nauheim. 



EBG / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 168-183 / D0I 10.3285/eg.61.2.D5 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



173 



cal debris. At a depth of 244 cm, the weathered Devonian 
bedrock is reached. 

The colluvium was dated by three charcoals ( 14 C) and one 
OSL sample to the following ages (Tab. 5): 20 cm deep (cal. 
379-245 BC, La Tene Period, Poz-36328), 53 cm depth (cal. 
1044-1136 AD, High Middle Ages, Poz-36337), 83 cm (OSL: 
110±230 BC, La Tene Period, HUB-0095) and 112.5 cm (cal. 
1351-1219 BC, Bronze Age, Poz-36338). 

A piece of charcoal from the field terrace above the balk 
was dated to: 28-50 cm, cal. 1210-1280 AD (Beta-294174; 
Fig. 2). 

5.1.2 Deserted fields in the Ohren forest near the village 
of Niedermeilingen [N 50.1742°, E 7.9458°] 

Likewise, in the Ohren forest traces of former agriculture 
were found. The location is relatively isolated at the rim of 
an old etchplain. There are several elongated low earthworks 
(Ackerberge, Fig. 4) with clearance cairns partly correspond- 
ing with each other by the right angle. They are formed by 
soil material fallen out during the turning of the plough at 
this place and also formed by clearance cairns. 

A pit of 3m depth, dug by an excavator, revealed a struc- 
ture consisting of gathered stones and a 71 cm thick layer 
of tarnished colored loess-like Holocene colluvium with an 
initial soil formation in the uppermost 30 cm (Fig. 3). Under- 
neath follows the 29 cm thick remain of the upper layer with 
strong stagnic conditions and iron stains. The Btg horizon 
of a luvisol with visible clay films on the soil aggregates has 
been formed in both the upper and the intermediate layer 
(clay content 27-29 %). The colluvium consists of former 
material of the eroded upper layer. Both layers are contain- 
ing typical heavy minerals of Lake Laach pumice (Tab. 4). In 
contrast, the only 25 cm thick intermediate layer below is 
nearly free of these minerals. The sandy basal layer (48 cm 
thick) is poor in skeleton (stone content) due to the bedrock 
of strongly weathered slates. 

The colluvium only contains charcoal fragments (Tab. 3) 
which were dated at two different depths: 7-31 cm (cal. 919- 
999 AD, transition from Early to High Middle Ages, Quercus 
spec, Poz-36339) and 50-71 cm (cal. 7-79 AD, early Roman 
Period, Quercus spec., Poz-36340). Thus, the results are simi- 
lar to those of Pfaffenwald forest (chapter 3.1). 

5.1.3 Deserted fields in the Struth forest near the 
village of Kettenbach (N 50.257°, E 8.065°] 

Eighteen km away from the two previously presented loca- 
tions near Zorn, we investigated another wooded area at 
the rim of the Kernel Heath with deserted fields near the 
villages of Kettenbach and Hausen iiber Aar. There are two 
well visible field balks running parallel on a slightly in- 
clined upper slope (3-9°; in western exposition; 265 m a.s.L). 
A pit in the lowermost one revealed a 60 cm thick Holocene 
colluvium with an initial soil formation and charcoal con- 
tent (Fig. 6). A covered luvisol had developed underneath. 
Its E-horizon located in the upper layer has been shortened 
by erosion. The Btg-horizon has been generated within the 
intermediate layer (clay content 33%). The whole profile is 
rich in loess and poor in skeleton (0-14%). Partly, the skel- 



SS" r 




Fig. 3: The profile of Ohren forest with datings. 

Abb. 3: Das Profit in der Waldabteilung Ohren mit Datierungen. 



eton content consists of Oligocene-Miocene gravel (Aren- 
berger Fazies; Muller 1973), which occurs on the adjacent 
plateau above. 

A charcoal fragment taken from a depth of 45 cm, which 
was above the lowermost third of the colluvium, was dated 
at cal. 361-272 BC (La Tene Period; Erl-7539). 



171 



E6G / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 168-183 / D0I 10.3285/eg.61.2.D5 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



Table 3: Sedimentological data of the field balk-profile in Ohren forest. 

Tab. 3: Sedimentologische Daten zum Profil innerhalb des Ackerberges in der Waldabteilung Ohren. 



Horizon/layer 


Depth 


gS 


mS 


fS 


ffS 


gU 


mU 


fU 


T 


Skeleton 
content 


pH 


Loss on 
ignition 


Colour 


Charcoal 




cm 


% 


% 


% 


% 


% 


% 


% 


% 


% 




% 


Munsell 


mg/L 


IBw/M 
[colluvium] 


10-30 


7,56 


5,58 


4,81 


3,43 


20,17 


19,34 


12,47 


26,65 


26,76 


3,94 


4,60 


10YR- 
3/24 


255,03 


1M 
[colluvium] 


30-83 


6,73 


6,29 


4,85 


3,67 


20,96 


18,21 


12,34 


26,96 


18,46 


3,97 


3,04 


10YR-5/6 


369,93 


2 fBwtg 
[upper layer] 


83-100 


10,46 


5,76 


4,36 


3,48 


18,14 


19,28 


12,70 


25,82 


24,12 


3,94 


3,23 


10YR-5/8 


0,00 


3fBtg 
[interm. layer] 


100-125 


12,66 


5,49 


1,88 


2,60 


22,05 


17,98 


10,30 


27,04 


32,18 


3,76 


2,79 


10YR-6/4 


n.a. 


3 fBtg 

[interm. layer] 


125-133 


7,79 


5,21 


1,86 


2,71 


26,11 


17,26 


9,58 


29,47 


15,55 


3,77 


2,56 


10YR-5/6 


0,00 


4C 

[basal layer] 


133-175 


19,41 


9,02 


4,14 


8,24 


16,76 


13,44 


11,75 


17,25 


2,30 


3,66 


2,13 


10YR-4/6 


n.a. 


5R 

[weathered slates] 


175-218 


37,04 


16,21 


5,35 


6,38 


11,01 


6,44 


4,69 


12,89 


71,97 


3,81 


2,64 


10YR-4/4 


n.a. 


5R 

[weathered slates] 


218-244 


37,11 


18,00 


5,69 


6,97 


9,19 


7,06 


5,31 


10,69 


72,21 


3,70 


3,16 


10YR-2/1 


n.a. 


M = Holocene colluvium, gS = course sand, mS = middle sand, fS = fine sand, ffS = finest sand, gLI = course silt, mU = middle silt, fU = fine silt, T 
= clay 



Horizon/layer 


Typical for 


M 


M 


II fBwtg 
UL 


IlifBtg 
IL 


Depth [cm] 


31-50 


50-71 


71-100 


100-115 


Augite 


pumice 


77 


88 


38 


4 


Epidote/zoisite 







1 


4 


12 


Garnet 


loess 








1 


2 


Green hornblende 


loess 





1 


2 


4 


Brown hornblende 


pumice 


130 


159 


75 


8 


Titanite 


pumice 


49 


50 


16 


1 


Zircon 




12 


18 


8 


4 


SUM 




268 


317 


144 


35 



Tab. 4: Heavy mineral content of the field balk profile in Ohren 
forest. (M - Holocene colluvium, UL = upper layer, IL = inter- 
mediate layer, BL = basal layer). 

Tab. 4: Schwermineralgehalt des Ackerrain-Profils im Pfaffen- 
wald (M = Kolluvium, UL = Hauptlage, IL = Mittellage, BL = 
Basislage). 



M = Holocene colluvium, UL = upper layer, IL = intermediate layer, BL = basal layer; 
analysis: M. Guddat-Seipel, Bad Nauheim. 



5.2 Charcoal kiln sites 



For the detailed investigation of kiln sites the complete for- 
ested area of Zorn was mapped (40 kiln sites; 0.11 sites/ha). 

To investigate the influences of historical charcoal burn- 
ing, we chose two different kiln sites, one in the Pfaffenwald 
and another one in the nearby Reifibriihl forest. From each 
of them, we took 83-130 pieces of charcoal by sieving top- 
down at different depths below the plane of the kiln (Meil- 
erplatte; see Fig. 7) and from the bordering rim (Sttibbewalt). 

The determination of tree species resulted only three dif- 
ferent types (Fagus sylvatica, Quercus spec, and Betula pen- 
dula; Fig. 9) but in several compositions. Five charcoals were 
radiocarbon dated. 

5.2.1 Dating and determination of tree species 

The first investigated kiln site (N 50.167°, E 7.919°; 430 m 



a.s.l.) is actually located on the low inclined, NNW exposed 
slope of a small valley in a nearly pure, old beech forest (Gal- 
io odorati Fagetum; cf. Ellenberg 1996, Ludemann & Nelle 
2002). The investigated one belongs to a group of 4 kiln sites 
in an area 130 m wide. Due to the hillside location of the 
kiln, it is plausible that the used wood originates from the 
forested upper slope. It is plausible that the origination area 
of the wood is wider on the slope above the kiln, because it 
was easier to carry the wood downslope (cf. Hildebrandt 
et al. 2007). After 100 m, the slope is bounded by the edge 
to the open fields. It is furthermore noticeable in this for- 
est that there are several former field balks around the kiln 
sites. These belong to the investigated former farmland of 
the Pfaffenwald forest. The investigated kiln site is located 
exactly on one of these former field terraces. 

The spectra of species at different depths of the kiln site- 
sediment are very homogenous and show nearly the same 
result as today (90% beech and 10% oak). The 3 datings are 



EBG / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 168-183 / D0I 10.3285/eg.61.2.D5 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



175 



field balk with 
clearance cairns 




calluvium 
wil formation 



former ground 
surface 



Graphic: C. Stolz 
Cartography: S. Btthnka 
Dept. of Geography, 
Mainz University (2010) 



Holocene 
slope foot- 
colluvium 



former field 



pile of soil material 

displaced by ploughing 

(Ackerberg) 




Fig. 4: Model of former field balks on a slope and an earthwork of soil material and gathered stones (Ackerberg) on aflat location under forest. 
Abb. 4: Modell eines ehemaligen Ackerrains und eines Ackerberges, bestehend aus Bodenmaterial and Lesesteinen, in Hanglage. 




v \ \ \ \ 



Pfaffenwald/ReiBbruhl 
forest 



Mapping and 

Cartography: Sebastian 
Bohnke. 

Coordinate system: UTM 
Zone 32, ETRSB9. 

Department of 

Geography, Mainz 
University (20 ID). 



Legend 

A Charcoal kiln site 

,X. Former slate mining 
™ Gathered stones 
"- Field balk 
Height contour 



| General map | 



-, r 



Zorn 



/ 



Fig. 5: Map section of the Zorn district with former field balks and charcoal kiln sites in forest. 
Abb. 5: Kartenausschnitt der Gemarkung Zorn mit Ackerrainen und Meilerplatzen unter Wald. 



indicative of the Early Modern Period: cal. 1712-1906 AD 
(Fagus sylvatica, Poz-36326), cal. 1654-1794 AD (Quercus 
spec, Poz-36322) and cal. 1476-1604 AD (Fagus sylvatica, 
Poz-36321). However, the dated samples were not layered 
stratigraphic, because the sediment cover was obviously 
mixed between the individual burning sessions of the kiln or 
beyond. Thus, a detailed reporting about the forest history in 
the surrounding of the kiln site is only possible to a limited 
extend. However, it could be demonstrated that the kiln was 
used from the 16 th to the 19 th century. 



The second one (N 50.169°, E 7.930°; 427 m a.s.l.) is located 
on a moderate inclined, NNE exposed lower slope within a 
small, wet spring-depression, covered by a forest with up to 
160 year old beeches (result of a dendrochronological count) 
and some oaks. In the surrounding area of 450 m, there is no 
further evidence of kiln sites. The forested slope above the 
kiln is with a distance of 500 m to the top of the hill much 
larger. Eventually, the origin area of the used wood could 
have been much larger, too. 

The spectra of species in the sampling depths of 0-13 cm 



176 



E6G / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 168-183 / D0I 10.3285/eg.61.2.D5 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



m a.s 
266 -i 

,75- 

.5(1 
,25- 

265- 
.75- 
,50- 
,25- 

264- 



Former field 



w 



Clae ranee 
cairns 



I 



50' 
vertical 

E 



25' N - 8° 4' E 
exaggeration 2 x 



BMEMSME 



© Soil formation 

@ Periglacial coverbed 



Former field 







Bw 

M (Colluvium) 

fEBtg (UL) 

fBtg (IL) 
Cg (IL) 



— i 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 — 

123456789 10m 

Draft by Cur. ST0LZ& J. GRUNERT • Graphics by T, BartSCH • Dept, of Geography, Mainz University, Germany • 02/2011 



Fig. 6: Field balk in Struth forest, probably generated during Iron Age and later. For the parts of the profile marked with question marks there is no de- 
tailed information. 

Abb. 6: Fin Ackerrain in der Waldabteilung Struth. Er geht vermutlich auf die Eisenzeit zuriick. Fur die mit Fragezeichen gekennzeichneten Profilbereiche 
liegen keine detaillierten Informationen vor. 



and 13-25 cm of the Stubbewall were different (Fig. 8). The 
lower spectrum is dominated by beech (82%), followed by 
birch (13%, a tree which needs an exposure to the sunshine) 
and oak (5%). In the uppermost spectrum, beech is only 34% 
and birch is found in higher concentration (19%). Oak is the 
predominant species (47%) in this layer. Although the kiln 
site is located directly above the spring depression, there 
could not be proven any hydrophilic species like willows or 
alders. This indicates an origin of the used wood exclusively 
upslope of the kiln. 

Dating of charcoal samples from the two presumably dif- 
ferent layers gave exactly the same ages: cal. 1677-1921 AD 
(Fagus sylvatica, Poz-36323 and 36324). It is possible that the 
kiln was used for only a short period at the end of the 18 th 
and beginning of the 19 th century. However, the spectra of 
species in the different layers are quite different. Therefore, 
the lower charcoal sample could have been displaced by bio- 
turbation or similar processes in the past. 

5.3 The medieval refuge castle of Zorn with a 
neighboring slag heap 

At the eastern rim of the castle (81° E), where it has been 
damaged by a modern stairway, we took a small portion of 
soil material from the lower part of the rampart (the permis- 
sion from the local preservation authority was given). By the 
archaeobotanical elutriation procedure, a fragment of char- 
coal was eliminated, which was dated to cal. 900-970 AD 
(Poz-36343). 

A charcoal sample of the slag heap, eliminated in the 
same way, was dated to cal. 1103-1203 AD (Poz-36341; High 
Middle Ages). An analysis of the slag by x-ray diffractom- 
eter resulted in residual iron contents of 36-49% and silicate 
contents of 9-25%. 

A piece of charcoal of the other slag heap, which is located 
beside the small stream Rodelbach near Zorn (N 50.15829°, E 
7.93905°) was dated to the similar age of cal. 1160-1260 AD 
(Beta-294172). 



5.4 Calculation of sedimentation rates of a small 
alluvial fan near Kernel [N 50.1650°, E 8.0147°] 

To calculate the local sedimentation rate from a single loca- 
tion on the Kernel Heath, we investigated an archaeological 
site, which included a Roman water well, stabilized by wood 
beams. It was located close to the former Roman castle of 
Kernel and, geomorphologically, on a small and flat alluvial 
fan, respectively a colluvial depression filling in the non- 
perennial upper course of the Aulbach and Wisper stream. 
The side walls of the well were supported by several sedi- 
ment covered oak-wooden beams, which were dated den- 
drochronologically to 215 AD (information given by the 
Hessian Office of Monument Preservation). 

The site was dug 384 cm into a sandy-silty, uppermost 
clayey, well-layered colluvial/alluvial sediment with a dis- 
tinct content of skeleton (5-29%). Downwards 316 cm inside 
the well, the groundwater level was detected and the sedi- 
ment is grey-reduced. Around 179 cm deep, it contains char- 
coal fragments; underneath, there are no organic remains. A 
charcoal fragment of 0-35 cm depth was dated to cal. 1160- 
1260 AD (High Middle Ages; Beta-294173), another piece of 
35-55 cm to cal. 1080-1124 AD (High Middle Ages; Erl-8905) 
and a further piece of 140-163 cm to cal. 678-773 AD (Early 
Middle Ages; Erl-8906). Below this sample the top of the cov- 
er of the water-well was detected by archaeologists. 

The soil samples downwards to 383 cm were analyzed 
concerning their content of heavy minerals. All samples con- 
tain the minerals augite, brown hornblende, titanite, green 
hornblende and garnet thus giving evidence of distinct con- 
tents of loess and the pumice of Lake Laach eruption of the 
Allerod Interstadial (cf. Stolz & Grunert 2006, Semmel 
2002). 

Summarized, the lower part of the profile (152-384 cm 
and deeper) had been already deposited when the Romans 
built the well in 215 AD. This can be assumed because of the 
lack of finds and charcoals in these sediments. 



EBG / Vol. 61 / No. 2 / 2012 / 168-183 / D0I 10.3285/eg.61.2.D5 / © Authors / Creative Commons Attribution License 



177 



Scheme of a charcoal kiln site in hillside location 



Loam pit 



Charcoal kiln 



\ Earthern wall/stuebbewall 
(layered) 




Legend 

Soil formation 
Egg Vitrification by heat 



Charcoal 

Wood tar containing sediment 



Draft: C. Stolz. 
Cartography: S. Bohnke. 
Dept. of Geography, 
Mainz University [2011]. 



Fig. 7: Scheme of a charcoal kiln site 
in hillside location with loam pit. 

Abb. 7: Schema eines Hangmeiler- 
platzes mit Lehmgrube zur Entnahme 
der Stubbe, mit der der Meiler 
verkleidet wird. 



According to the "C-datings, it is possible to calculate ap- 
proximate sedimentation rates for different periods. There- 
fore, it has to be considered that there are some uncertain- 
ties of this analysis concerning a subsequent displacement 
of charcoal samples: Between the 4 th and 7 th centuries AD, 
no traces of deposition have been found. After this period, 
the second part of the profile (152-45 cm depth) was depos- 
ited between approx. 725 and 1100 AD. This corresponds to a 
sedimentation rate of 2.8 mm/a (Fig. 10). The third part (45- 
20 cm depth) was deposited between approx. 1100 and 1210 
(sedimentation rate of 2.3 mm/a). The upper part (20-0 cm 
depth) was deposited during the time after 1210 until today, 
corresponding with a much smaller rate of only 0.25 mm/a. 

6 Discussion 

The 16 datings of this study include 5 of Prehistoric and Ro- 
man periods (until 260 AD; cf. Baatz and Herrmann 2002), 
1 of Early Middle Ages (approx. 400-1000 AD), 5 of High 
Middle Ages (approx. 1000-1320 AD) and 5 of Early Modern 



Age (approx. 1450-1850 AD; cf. Born 1989; Tab. 5). The pres- 
ence of charcoal particles in the sediment archives concludes 
that in most cases, there is a certain amount of human influ- 
ence on the landscape in the different periods. But it has to 
be considered that "C-datings give only minimum ages (ter- 
minus post quern). If a piece of charcoal is trapped within a 
sediment layer, the sediment must have been displaced after 
the formation time of the organic carbon of the charcoal. 

6.1 Agriculture 

This is proven by the uppermost sample (20 cm deep) within 
the field balk-profile in the Pfaffenwald forest, which was 
dated to an earlier time (cal. 379-245 BC, La Tene Period, 
Poz-36328) compared with the samples below. It could have 
been deposited for a long time (approx. 1300 years) on the 
soil surface upslope or within a colluvium when it was bur- 
ied by the sediment. However, a vertical displacement by 
bioturbation could be also plausible. To clarify this, we ad- 
ditively used one OSL dating which confirmed the other 




! Fig. 8: Sampling of a charcoal kiln site in different 
• t ' layers. 

Abb. 8: Die Beprobung eines Hangmeilerplatzes 
(Stiibbewall) in verschiedenen Tiefen. 



178 



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Quercus spec 

5% 



Betula 
pendula 
13% ' 




Fagus 
sylvatica 

82% 



Betula 
pendula 
19% ' 



uercus 



Fagus 
sylvatica 
^34%> 




Fig. 9: Spectra of tree species at depths of 0-13 cm and 13-25 cm (kiln site 2). 
Abb. 9: Baumartenspektrum in 0-13 und in 13-25 cm Tiefe (Meilerplatz 2). 



14 C-datings. Additionally, a piece of charcoal from the field 
terrace above the balk (28-50 cm deep) was dated to cal. 
1210-1280 AD (Beta-294174). Unfortunately, archaeological 
findings were missing, which is typical for agrarian loca- 
tions away from settlementsAs well as within the field balk- 
profiles in Pfaffenwald forest, in those of Ohren forest and 
Struth forest, we dated charcoals to prehistoric and Roman 
Periods. In consequence, at these locations the agriculture 
began before the arrival of the Romans (OSL: 340 BC-120 
AD). Thus, the agriculture started during the Iron Age is 
proven for one location and it is likely so for the other two 
locations. In addition, based on the datings of Pfaffenwald 
and Ohren forests, it is also plausible that Roman agricul- 
ture existed for local supply of the border troops. Basically, 
we should know that fields were not so wide spread in that 
time as within Early Modern Periods or today. However, as 
non-favorable areas (North faced slopes) were cropped dur- 
ing that time and which are currently wooded. Thus, we also 
have to assume prehistoric agriculture in the actual cropped 
areas, too. Therefore, fields could have been more distributed 
than today. On the other hand, the forests must have been 



mm/a 
3 -i 



£ 2 — 



1 — 



1000 
Time (years AD) 



2000 AD 



Fig. 10: Sedimentation rates in a small valley filling near Kernel. 

Abb. 10: Unterschiedliche Sedimentationsraten im verfullten Unterlauf 
eines Talchens bei Kernel. 



smaller. In contrast, prehistoric people might have preferred 
other locations than modern farmers, for example locations 
on plateaus or smooth slopes far away from recent settle- 
ments. 

Within the field balks, dates from Early Middle Ages are 
missing. But the agriculture on these fields continued until 
the High Middle Ages. The covering of the terrace itself by 
colluvial sediments took place within the High Middle Ag- 
es. Maybe it was reactivated in this period. The presence of 
gathered stones within the colluvial sediments and the OSL 
age give a solid result. After the High Middle Ages, there is 
no further evidence of agriculture in the three investigated 
former field districts. Furthermore, due to the soil formation 
(luvisol) within the colluvium, a resting phase since High 
Middle Ages seems plausible (Fig. 2). 

6.2 Charcoal burning 

In the forests of the Zorn district (374ha), we found and 
mapped only 40 kiln sites (0.11 sites/ha). In a forest 15 km 
away near to the ironworks of Michelbach, we calculated 
0.38-0.58 kiln sites per hectare (Stolz 2011b). In the mining 
region of the southern Harz Mts. von Kortzfleisch (2008) 
mapped 3.3 sites/ha. Therefore, charcoal burning was not so 
wide spread in the investigation area compared with other 
districts. However, in the cleared areas, charcoal burning 
was a frequent activity. Most of the mapped kiln sites have a 
diameter of 10-12 m. This indicates an origin within the pe- 
riod of massive charcoal burning of the 18 lh or 19 th century in 
the Taunus Mts. (cf. Stolz 2011b, Hildebrandt et al. 2001). 
Basically, the investigated field balks in the Pfaffenwald for- 
est must be older than the kiln sites, because kiln sites are 
located on the former field terraces using the leveled surface. 
By physical dating methods we could substantiate charcoal 
burning in the investigated area from the 16 th century and 
increasing until the end of the 18 th century. 

The tree spectrum of the second investigated kiln site 
(Reifibriihl forest) taken from the lower layer of the char- 
coal containing sediment is dominated by Quercus spec, and 
Betula pendula (in total 66%). Betula is a typical pioneer 



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179 



Tab. 5: "C and OSL datings of this study. 

Tab. 5: Aufstellung der in der vorliegenden Studie enthaltnen "C- und OSL-Datierungen. 





No. 


Type 


Site 


Depth 
[cm] 


Material 


"CAge 
[aBP] 


Calibration or 
OSLage[aBC/AD] 


1 


Poz-36328 


"C 


Pfaffenwald forest 


10-30 


charcoal 
[field balk] 


2260±35 


379-245 BC 


2 


Poz-36337 


"C 


Pfaffenwald forest 


30-83 


charcoal, hardwood 
[field balk] 


940±30 


1044-1136 AD 


3 


HUB-0095 


OSL 


Pfaffenwald forest 


83 


basal colluvium 
[field balk] 


- 


110±230 BC 


4 


Poz-36338 


"C 


Pfaffenwald forest 


100-125 


charcoal, Quercus 
[field balk] 


3015±35 


1351-1219 BC 


5 


Beta- 

294174 


"C 


Pfaffenwald forest 


28-55 


charcoal, hardwood 
[colluvium from 
terraced field] 


790±30 


1210-1280 AD 


6 


Poz-36339 


"C 


Ohren forest 


7-31 


charcoal, Quercus 
[field balk] 


1065±30 


918-999 AD 


7 


Poz-36340 


"C 


Ohren forest 


50-71 


charcoal, Quercus 
[field balk] 


1950±35 


7-79 AD 


8 


Erl-7539 


"C 


Struth forest, 
Kettenbaoh 


45 


charcoal 
[field balk] 


2205±56 


361-272 BC 


9 


Poz-36321 


"C 


Kiln site 1, Zorn 


0-8 


charcoal, Fogus 
[kiln site] 


360±30 


1476-1604 AD 


10 


Poz-36322 


"C 


Kiln site 1, Zorn 


8-17 


charcoal, Quercus 
[kiln site] 


220±30 


1654-1794 AD 


11 


Poz-36326 


"C 


Kiln site 1, Zorn 


30-48 


charcoal, Fogus 
[kiln site] 


85±30 


1712-1906 AD 


12 


Pdz-36323 


"C 


Kiln site 2 


0-13 


charcoal, Fogus 
[kiln site] 


180±30 


1677-1921 AD 


13 


Poz-36324 


"C 


Kiln site 2 


13-25 


charcoal, Fogus 
[kiln site] 


180±30 


1677-1921 AD 


14 


Poz-36343 


"C 


Refuge castle "Alte 
Schanz" 


- 


charcoal 
[artificial deposit] 


1105±30 


900-970 AD 


15 


Poz-36341 


"C 


Slag heap nearthe 
refuge castle 


0-20 


charcoal, Fogus 
[slag heap] 


865±30 


1103-1203 AD 


16 


Beta- 
294172 


"C 


Slag heap nearthe 
Rotelbach stream 


0-15 


charcoal, hardwood 
[slag heap] 


850±30 


1160-1260 AD 


17 


Erl-8905 


"C 


Kernel, site with 
Roman water well 


35-55 


charcoal 
[colluvium] 


953±37 


1080-1125 AD 


18 


Beta- 
294173 


"C 


Kernel, site with 
Roman water well 


55-90 


charcoal, half-ring 
porous hardwood 
[colluvium] 


840±30 


1160-1260 AD 


19 


Erl-8906 


"C 


Kernel, site with 
Roman water well 


140-163 


charcoal 
[colluvium] 


1274±44 


678-773 AD 



tree species (Ludemann & Nelle 2002). The species are an 
indication for a bright, cleared forest with a high content 
of Quercus spec, which was an important kind of timber 
(Ellenberg et al. 1991). While degradation processes, Quer- 
cus spec, and Carpinus betulus can be favored (Ludemann 
2008). In the layer above, the content of Quercus and Betula 
has fallen (18%) and Fagus is the dominating species; how- 
ever, the content of birch is still 13%. Today, there grow only 
few birches. However, the so-called Little Ice Age (Glaser 
2008) cannot had direct influences to the detected changes in 
vegetation, because oaks (Quercus robur) are, in contrast to 
the beeches, counted among the slightly more thermophile 
deciduous trees (Ellenberg et al. 1991), however with a 
wider ecological range. 

An eventual wood selection by the charcoal burners 
should not be considered. Ludemann (2008) demonstrated 
that charcoal burners during the Early Modern Period in the 
Black Forest used all available species and all thicknesses of 
wood. 



6.3 Refuge castle and iron smelting 



The refuge castle of Zorn, the neighboring slag heap and a 
further slag heap in the Rodelbach valley originate almost 
simultaneously from the High Middle Ages (10 th to 12 th cen- 
tury AD). Based on these findings, we also have to assume 
a high wood consumption around these small melts. Fur- 
thermore, the relatively high ferrous content of the slags in- 
dicates a low yield of iron due to a still primitive technol- 
ogy of iron-smelting. Nearly the same age we detected for 
the use of the deserted fields. The slag heaps, which are 2 of 
5 samples from within the Zorn district, the castle and the 
field terraces give evidence of a wide spread, decentralized, 
agriculture, iron production and forest clearing in the district 
of Zorn during the High Middle Ages (cf. Stolz ir Grunert 
2008, Geisthardt 1954). 

The dating of a charcoal fragment from inside the rampart 
of the refuge castle has to be regarded as an approximate 
value for a possible real age of the refuge castle As the char- 



180 



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coal was located inside the rampart, it must be older or of 
the same age as the castle. In consequence, the castle must 
originate from the 10th century or from a younger period. 

6.4 Sediment sequences of the alluvial fan of Kernel 

Within the alluvial fan profile of Kernel we calculated the 
highest sedimentation rate for the High Middle Ages, too. 
Direct climatic influences as a triggering factor are unlike- 
ly; in the contrary, however the local influence of anthro- 
pogenic triggered soil erosion in the small catchment of the 
depression was high (Thiemeyer et al. 2005). It must be ex- 
pected that the accumulation of alluvial sediments probably 
was discontinuous, which means that it could have probably 
happened during heavy precipitation events in a more or less 
cleared landscape. Thus, the calculated sedimentation rates 
have to be considered as limited reference values for the sus- 
ceptibility of soil erosion within the catchment. 

The only dated charcoal from the Early Middle Ages 
(7 th /8 th century) is taken from this alluvial fan which is an im- 
portant fact. The charcoal has been deposited directly above 
the Roman well. Thus, soil erosion rates during the Migra- 
tion Period must have been reduced. Otherwise, the finding 
of Early Medieval charcoal supports the opinion of Becker 
(2011) concerning an increased human influence in Kernel in 
this period. Most likely, during Early Modern times the dis- 
tribution of fields did not reach the level of the High Middle 
Ages. Instead, heathlands became predominant in the land- 
scape. Therefore, the sedimentation rate within the fan pro- 
file of Kernel was shrinking again. 

7 Conclusions 

The agriculture on the Kernel Heath probably started during 
the La Tene or Roman Period. This conforms to the results 
of regional palynologic investigations. Since this time - in- 
terrupted during the Migration Period - to the High Mid- 
dle Ages agriculture was intensified and non-favorable ar- 
eas were cultivated. The spreading of fields increased up to 
13 th century and was shrinking again in favor of pastureland 
during the Early Modern Period. In the remaining cleared 
forests, charcoal burning was widespread, especially from 
16 th to the end of the 18 th century. The consequences con- 
cerning forest degradation and changes in the composition 
of tree species could be evidenced due to the charcoals from 
two different kilns. 

Of nearly the same age like the High Medieval agriculture 
are the slag relicts of decentralized iron melting and, prob- 
ably, the refuge castle of Zorn next to the slags. 

Although the sediment sequence of a small alluvial fan 
near Kernel is of very local character, we evidenced the high- 
est deposition rate in its catchment for the High Middle Ag- 
es, too. 

With this study, we evidenced the benefit of the applica- 
tion of several different methods to reconstruct former land- 
scapes of different periods: Future studies have to investigate 
as much single relicts to get more representative informa- 
tion. Unfortunately, this was not possible due to limited fi- 
nancial resources. 



Acknowledgements 



We are grateful to the "Hessisches Ministerium fur Umwelt, 
Energie, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz" for finan- 
cial support. We also thank Mr. R. Schmidt of the Heimat- 
verein Heidenrod and the students of the working group 
Grunert/Stolz for support during their field work. 



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Hohensiedlung auf dem Schlossberg bei Kallmunz (Siidostliche Fran- 
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Neumayer, H. (1993): Merowingerzeitliche Grabfunde des Mittelrheinge- 
bietes zwischen Nahe- und Moselmiindung. - Archaologische Schriften 
des Instituts fiir Vor- und Friihgeschichte der Johannes Gutenberg-Uni- 
versitat Mainz 2: 213 pp. 

Orth, W. (1953): Wollindustrie in den Orten der ehemaligen Grafschaft Kat- 
zenelnbogen, die heute zum Untertaunuskreis gehoren. - Der Unter- 
taunus. Heimatjahrbuch Untertaunus-Kreis, 5 (1954): 89-92. 

Roedler, G (1910): Aus vergangener Zeit. Allerlei aus Alt-Nassaus Wal- 
dern. - Alt-Nassau, 10: 38-40. 

Roedler, G. (1926): Ober die Kemeler Heide. - Nassauische Heimat, 6, 22: 
109-110. 

Rosch, M. ir Tserendorj, G. (2011): Florengeschichtliche Beobachtungen 
im Nordschwarzwald (Siidwestdeutschland). - Hercynia N.F. 44: 53-71. 

Sauer, D. ir Felix-Henningsen, P. (2006): Saprolite, soils and sediments in 
the Rhenish Massif as records of climate and landscape history. - Qua- 
ternary International, 156-157: 4-12. 

Scharlau, K. (1961): Flurrelikte und Flurformengenese in Westdeutschland. 
Ergebnisse, Probleme und allgemeine Ausblicke. - Geografiska Anna- 
ler, 43, 1: 264-276. 

Schmenkel, G. (2001): Pollenanalytische Untersuchungen imTaunus. - Be- 
richte der Kommission fiir Archaologische Landesforschung in Hessen 
6: 225-232. 

Schweingruber, F. H. (1990): Wood Anatomy. - 226 pp., Birmensdorf (Eid- 
genossische Forschungsanstalt fiirWald, Schnee und Landschaft). 

Schwind, F. (1984): Geschichtlicher Atlas von Hessen, Erlauterungsband. 
- 338 pp., Marburg (Hessisches Landesamt fiir geschichfliche Landes- 
kunde). 

Semmel, A. (1968): Studien iiber den Verlauf jungpleistozaner Formung in 
Hessen. - Frankfurter Geographische Hefte, 45: 133 pp., Frankfurt (In- 
stitut fiir Kulturgeographie, Stadt- und Regionalforschung der Johann- 
Wolfgang-Goethe-Universitat). 

Semmel, A. (1993): Bodenerosionsschaden unter Wald - Beispiele aus dem 
Kristallinen Odenwald und dem Taunus. - Jubelfeier der Wetteraui- 
schen Gesellschaft fiir die gesamte Naturkunde, 144/145: 5-15. 

Semmel, A. (1995): Development of gullies under forest cover in the Taunus 
and Crystalline Odenwald Mountains, Germany. - Zeitschrift fiir Geo- 
morphologie, N.F., Supplement, 100: 115-127. 

Semmel, A. (2002): Hauptlage und Oberlage als umweltgeschichfliche Indi- 
katoren. - Zeitschrift fiir Geomorphologie N.F. 46: 167-180. 

Semmel, A. ^Terhorst, b. (2010): The concept of the Pleistocene cover-beds 
in central Europe: A review. - Quaternary International, 222: 120-128. 

Spielmann, C. (1926): Geschichte von Nassau. Part 2: Kultur und Wirt- 
schaftsgeschichte. 705 pp., Montabaur: Verlag des Nassauischen Vereins 
fiir landliche Wohlfahrts- und Heimatpflege. 

Stolz, C. (2011a): Budgeting of soil erosion from floodplain sediments of 
the central Rhenish Slate Mts. (Westerwald), Germany. The Holocene, 
21, 3,499-510. 

Stolz, C. (2011b): Spatiotemporal budgeting of soil erosion in the district of 
the deserted estate „Rahnstatter Hof" near Michelbach (Taunus Mts., 
Western Germany). - Erdkunde, 65, 4: 355-370. 

Stolz, C. (2008): Historisches Grabenreifien im Wassereinzugsgebiet der 
Aar zwischen Wiesbaden und Limburg. - Geologische Abhandlungen 
Hessen, 117: 138 pp., Wiesbaden (Hessisches Landesamt fiir Umwelt 
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182 



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Stolz, C, Grunert, J. (2010): Quaternary landscape development in Pa- for sediment input into the river rhine: soils, sediments and slope pro- 

latinate Forest (Pfalzerwald, south-western Germany). - Quaternary cesses. - Erdkunde 59, 3/4: 184-198. 

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Stolz, C. ir Grunert, J. (2008): Floodplain sediments of some streams in telgebirgen - ein offenes Forschungsfeld. - Berichte zur deutschen Lan- 

fheTaunus andWesterwaldMts., western Germany, as evidence of his- deskunde, 76: 101-114. 

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Stolz, C. ir Grunert, J. (2006): Holocene colluvia, medieval gully forma- waldes - Neue pollenanalytische Untersuchungen im pfalzischen Berg- 

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Schwarzbach, M. (1968): Neue Eiszeithypothesen. - Eiszei- 
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Eissmann, L. ir Muller, A. (1979): Leitlinien der Quartaren- 
twicklung im norddeutschen Tiefland. - Zeitschrift fur Ge- 
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Zagwijn, W.H. (1996): The Cromerian Complex Stage of the 
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Turner, C. (ed.): The Middle Pleistocene in Europe: 145-172; 
Rotterdam (Balkema). 

Magny, M. ir Haas, J.N. (2004): A major widespread climat- 
ic change around 5300 cal. yr BP at the time of the Alpine 
Iceman. - Journal of Quaternary Science, 19: 423-430. DOI: 
10.1002/jqs.850 

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Schwarzbach, M. (1968): Neue Eiszeithypothesen. - Eiszeit- 
alter und Gegenwart, 19: 250-261. 

Eissmann, L. ir Muller, A. (1979): Leitlinien der Quartar- 
entwicklung im norddeutschen Tiefland. - Zeitschrift fur 
Geologische Wissenschaften, 7: 451-462. 
Zagwijn, W.H. (1996): The Cromerian Complex Stage of the 
Netherlands and correlation with other areas in Europe. - In: 
Turner, C. (ed.): The Middle Pleistocene in Europe: 145-172; 
Rotterdam (Balkema). 

Magny, M. ir Haas, J.N. (2004): A major widespread clima- 
tic change around 5300 cal. yr BP at the time of the Alpine 
Iceman. - Journal of Quaternary Science, 19: 423-430. DOI: 
10.1002/jqs.850 

Monographische Werke, Biicher: 

Ehlers, J. (1994): Allgemeine und historische Quartargeolo- 
gie. - 358 S.; Stuttgart (Enke). 

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Committee / Vorstand 




PRESIDENT/ PRASIDENTIN 

MARGOTBOSE 
Freie Universitat Berlin 
Malteserstr. 71-100 
D-12219 Berlin, Germany 
Tel.: +19 [0]30-838-70 37 3 
E-Mail: m.boese [at] fu-berlin.de 

VICE PRESIDENTS / VIZEPRASIDENTEN 

CHRISTOPHSPOTL 

Institut fur Geologie und Palaontologie 

Universitat Innsbruck 

Innrain 52 

A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria 

Tel.:+13[0]512-507-5593 

Fax: +13 [0]512-507-2911 

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LUDWIGZQLLER 

Fakultat II - Lehrstuhl fur Geomorphologie 

Universitat Bayreuth 

Universitatsstrafse 30 

D-95110 Bayreuth, Germany 

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF / SCHRIFTLEITUNG [E&G] 

HOLGERFREUND 

ICBM - Geoecology 

Carl-von-Ossietzky Universitaet Oldenburg 

Schleusenstr. 1 

D-26382 Wilhelmshaven, Germany 

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ARCHIVIST /ARCHIVAR 

STEFAN WANSA 

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Sachsen-Anhalt 

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D- 06035 Halle, Germany 

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E-Mail: wansa [at] lagb.mw.sachsen-anhalt.de 

ADVISORY BOARD / BEIRAT 

CHRISTIAN H0SELMANN 

Hessisches Landesamt fur Umwelt und Geologie 

Postfach 3209 

D-65022 Wiesbaden, Germany 

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E-Mail: christian. hoselmann [at] hlug.hessen.de 



DANIELASAUER 

Institut fur Bodenkunde und Standortslehre 

Universitat Hohenheim 

Emil-Wolff-Str. 27 

D-70593 Stuttgart, Germany 

Tel.: +19 [0]711-159-22 93 5 

E-Mail: d-sauer [at] uni-hohenheim.de 

FRANK PREUSSER 

Department of Physical Geography and 

Quaternary Geology 

Stockholm University 

10961 Stockholm, Sweden 

Tel. +16 8 6717590 

E-Mail: frank.preusserianatgeo.su.se 

REINHARD LAMPE 

Institut fur Geographie und Geologie 

Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universitat Greifwald 

Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Strafse 16 

D-17187 Greifswald, Germany 

Tel: +19 [0]3831-86-15 21 

E-Mail: lampe [at] uni-greifswald.de 

BIRGITTERHORST 

Geographisches Institut 

Universitat Wurzburg 

Am Hubland 

D-97071 Wurzburg, Germany 

Deutschland 

Tel. +19[0]931-88 85 58 5 

E-Mail: birgit.terhorst [at] uni-wuerzburg.de 



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2012 



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Vol. 61 No 1 Calcareous Alps Austria, Loss, Holzreste Schweiz, Rinnen-Strukturen, Permafrost carbon 

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Title: E&G - Quaternary Science Journal 
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E&G 



Quaternary Science Journal 

Volume 61 / Number 2 / 2012 / ISSN 0424-7116 / DOI 10.3285/eg.61.2 
www.quaternary-science.net 




DOI lQ.3285/eg.B1.2.01 

103 Late Quaternary evolution of rivers, lakes and peatlands in northeast Germany reflecting 
past climatic and human impact - an overview 

Knut Kaiser, Sebastian Lorenz, Sonja Germer, Olaf Juschus, Mathias Kuster, Judy Libra, 
Oliver Bens, Reinhard F. Huttl 

DOI irj.3285/eg.B1.2.D2 

133 Younger Middle Terrace - Saalian pre-Drenthe deposits overlying MIS 7 Nachtigall 
interglacial strata near Hbxter/Weser, NW-Germany 

Peter Rohde, Jocben Lepper, Wolfgang Thiem t 

DOI lQ.3285/eg.B1.2.Q3 

m 6 Interrelation of geomorphology and fauna of Lavrado region in Roraima, Brazil 
- suggestions for future studies 

Thiago Morato de Carvalho, Ce/so Moroto de Carvalho 

D0llD.3285/eg.61.2.Q4 

156 Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology of Terna River Basin in West Central India 

Mohammad Babar, Radhakrishna Chunchekar, Madhusudan G. Yadava, Bhagwan Ghute 



D0llD.3285/eg.B1.2.D5 



168 Reconstructing 2500 years of land use history on the Kernel Heath [Kemeler Heide], 
southern Rhenish Massif, Germany 

Christian Stolz, Sebastian Bohnke, Jorg Grunert